14 Jan 2013

Vanuatu chiefs to discuss plan for new Efate airport

3:58 pm on 14 January 2013

Vanuatu chiefs will hold an urgent meeting to discuss a government plan to build a new international airport on Efate to cater for bigger aircraft, including Boeing 747s.

Efate's Vaturisu Council of Chiefs will discuss the plan with the Secretary General of Shefa Province, Michel Kalworai.

This comes after the tourism minister, Ham Lini, asked Mr Kalworai to find out from the chiefs if land is available outside Port Vila for a new airport.

Mr Lini says South Korean investors have held discussions with him and are prepared to fund the project.

He says land may be getting scarce in Efate but it is the island with the capital is situated and it is therefore only proper that a new international airport is built at the gateway to the country.

The minister has ruled out such a project on Santo, which is the biggest island, saying the environment there is not ready for such a development.