26 Jun 2003

American Samoa runway problem reportedly ignored

4:26 pm on 26 June 2003

It has been revealed that problems with the runway at Pago Pago International Airport in American Samoa were brought to the attention of the territorial government last October.

Yesterday, Hawaiian Airlines suspended flights after two planes had been damaged in two weeks.

Polynesian Airlines also cancelled a jet flight to pick up members of the American Samoan team for the South Pacific Games.

The territory's member of the US Congress, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, says he is just so surprised at the latest problems, given that Federal Aviation officials had conducted an evaluation of the runway nine months ago.

"and definitely gave indication to our local government officials that we've got some serious problems of maintenance and problems of the runway that really needs attention and I'm just sorry to say that we are just now going to contract a company to do the job but it won't be until the first week of August and we can't wait that long."