21 Jul 2003

Marshalls international airport could be closed to American carriers

10:20 am on 21 July 2003

The Marshall Islands' international airport in Majuro could be closed to American carriers unless the government finds ten million US dollars to repave the runway.

Three years ago the Marshall Islands was advised by the US Federal Aviation Authority of the need to resurface the runway .

At the time the estimated cost was under 10 million dollars but a recent engineering study puts the cost now at between ten and twelve million.

Local construction officials say the cost could well be closer to twenty million because of the continuing deterioration of the runway.

The FAA says if the runway is not repaired soon it will ban its use by US carriers, which would prevent Continental and Aloha Airlines, which provide six weekly flights connecting the Marshalls with Honolulu and four to Guam, from landing.