31 Oct 2003

Aitutaki airport in Cook Islands reopens

11:48 am on 31 October 2003

Aitutaki airport in the Cook Islands is being re-opened.

The mayor, Tai Herman, says the outer island airport is now certified to be able to handle the bigger 737s or Airbus 320s.

However, he says the schedule of four daily flights of a 34 seater Saab 340 is unlikely to change for some time.

Mr Herman says a big celebration is planned.

"Representatives from the Government, there'll be representatives from the chiefs, from the arongo mana. It's going to be a big day. We have eight villages on the island, and each village will be preparing food, there'll be pork there'll be chicken , there'll be raw fish, there'll be all sorts."

Tai Herman.

Some concern has been voiced locally about the impact of increased tourist numbers once bigger planes start flying to Aitutaki.