28 Mar 2013

Samoa and the Cook Islands get EU support for airport upgrades

4:17 pm on 28 March 2013

The European Investment Bank has agreed to help examine safety improvements, terminal upgrades and energy efficiency at airports in Samoa and the Cook Islands.

The 1 point 1 million US dollar technical assistance programme is for key investments that are expected to improve safety at airports as well as improving tourism, regional integration and economic development opportunities.

The agreement was signed in Auckland by the Bank's Vice President responsible for lending in the Pacific, Pim van Ballekom, and the Prime Ministers of both Samoa and the Cook Islands.

The Chief Executive of the Cook Islands Airport Authority, Joseph Ngamata, says the studies will help the authority invest its money wisely when they upgrade airports in Rarotonga and Aitutaki.

"Important investments (are) going to come up and some of them are due already. But we wanted these studies to research it properly so when we do invest we are doing the right thing with it."