Airways New Zealand has been awarded a major World Bank funded contract by the Samoa Airport Authority to assist with the upgrade of air traffic management systems and infrastructure at Faleolo International Airport.
The World Bank is funding a $US 25 million package of upgrades at the airfield under its Pacific Aviation Investment Program (PAIP). The regional project will increase aviation safety and security across the Pacific by developing key airport infrastructure and operations.
Under the deal, Airways will consult on the design and procurement of air navigation aids, air traffic control equipment and airfield ground lighting systems for the airport which is the main gateway to Samoa and its surrounding islands. The New Zealand state-owned enterprise will also project-manage the installation of the new systems.
The award of this contract builds on the extensive work Airways is already undertaking across the Pacific, Airways Chief Operating Officer Pauline Lamb says.
“Airways’ vision for the Pacific is to enable the same standard of infrastructure, service and safety we provide in New Zealand. To do this we need to ensure modern infrastructure is in place,” she says.
A significant element of Airways’ involvement with the Pacific is its joint agreement with Tonga, Samoa, Niue and the Cook Islands to manage the states’ upper airspace. Other services Airways provides throughout the Pacific include engineering and maintenance, flight inspection of navigation aids and flight procedures along with technical and air traffic control training.
This latest contract is the second Airways has been awarded under PAIP. Airways is also helping to extend the PASNet network – an aviation specific satellite communication system for the Pacific.
“PASNet will ultimately link air traffic organisations in eight Pacific states with a more robust and reliable voice and data connection. Work to install ground stations in Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu and Kiribati will begin this month,” Ms Lamb says.
Airways installed its first satellite communications station in Tonga eight years ago to provide a better level of communication between Fuaʻamotu International Airport and the Auckland Oceanic Centre which manages Tonga’s upper airspace.