21 Jul 2006

American Samoa to build airport tower

1:44 pm on 21 July 2006

American Samoa's Governor, Togiola Tulafono, has told the Senate his administration will proceed with plans to build an air traffic control tower for Pago Pago International Airport.

The Senate has been pushing for the construction of a tower to ensure that local air traffic is controlled in Pago Pago instead of Faleolo International Airport in neighbouring Samoa.

Last month, the territory's member of the US Congress, Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, revealed that he had asked the Federal Aviation Administration to hold the two million US dollar approved by Congress two years ago for a local project until the issue had been resolved.

Togiola says it's unfortunate that Faleomavaega has announced his intention to block the project and it's unclear what effect the congressman's position will have.

The governor said the safety of the traveling public was one of a number of paramount concerns and the tower is also a critical driver of future air traffic growth and economic development in the territory.