4 Jul 2012

Pacific Aviation Safety Office in financial strife

4:09 pm on 4 July 2012

The agency that ensures aviation safety in the Pacific is in economic strife because many member countries are not paying their dues.

That's been revealed to Ministers from Pacific countries who gathered this week in Kiribati to look at regionally pertinent issues in the Pacific Islands Forum's annual Economic Ministers' Meeting, or FEMM.

New Zealand's representative, the Parliamentary Private Secretary for Foreign Affairs, John Hayes, says if the Pacific Aviation Safety Office, or PASO, were to fail it would stop air travel to some countries.

He says the FEMM meeting came up with a plan to overcome the agency's financial plight.

"The meeting has said, right, let's get a letter from PASO to each individual country setting out its circumstances and the implications for each country if the service were to fall over."

John Hayes says the World Bank has also committed to looking at a new business plan to make the entity more financially sustainable.