New Faleolo airport terminal building to boost economy

Samoa’s travel gateway to the world – the new look Faleolo International Airport terminal buildings

By Rula Su’a – Vaai

APIA SAMOA – THURSDAY 10 MAY 2018: The US$70 million upgrade of the Faleolo International Airport yesterday will assist boost Samoa’s economy through transport and freight, according to  Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi.

Tuilaepa said  the completion of the terminal building and  together with Samoa’s own airline, Samoa Airways, hotels and resorts and other tourism resources bring vitality to the sustainable development of Samoa’s tourism industry.

The Arrivals terminal is the final part of the project funded the Republic of China through a low interest loan scheme. The Departure Terminal was opened in October last year.

The new terminal building has the total floor space of 12,500 square meters and targets to cater for a capacity of 600,000 passengers per year. It includes a state of the art flight information.

“With the upgraded services, excellent operations capability and aviation management, Samoa has moved a step  toward the aviation hub in the South Pacific region,” said Tuilaepa.

He emphasized however, that the buidling has a lifespan of about 58 years and he asked the public and airport workers to be vigilant in the maintenance of the building.

“I have asked you to work together in taking care of this building, for this is our gateway to the world and a beautiful landmark for Samoa.”

Chinese Ambassador to Samoa Wang Xuefeng and the Minister of Pubic Works Papalii Unasa Niko Lee Hang prepare to cut the ribbon to open the building

The project was supposed to be completed in December last year, however due to bad weather conditions and delay in the arrival of building materials from overseas resulted in the 4 months delay.

The next phase will involve the strengthening of the apron area and the construction of connecting bridges that will allow passengers direct access to and from the aircrafts. This is expected to be completed in September this year.

Chinese Ambassador to Samoa Wang Xuefeng says the airport is the result of the close collaboration between the governments of China and Samoa.

Built by Shanghai Construction, over 70 locals worked together with their Chinese counterparts throughout the construction period.

China has provided assistance to Samoa in various fields and through its One Belt One Road Initiative more than 80 countries and international organisations have signed cooperation agreements with China.