15 Apr 2014

Vanuatu tourism operator says airport plans unfeasible

3:34 pm on 15 April 2014

A tourism industry operator in Vanuatu, Brian Death, says he believes the plans for tourism development contained in a leaked document on a proposed new airport are pie in the sky.

A document, made public by the Daily Post, speaks of an airport capable of handling nearly three million people a year by 2025.

It says the development would require a loan of 165 million US dollars from China's EXIM Bank, to be repaid at the rate of 16 million a year.

But Mr Death says this is unfeasible and the country could not afford it.

"Everybody would love to see a new airport and direct flights and increasing numbers - that would be terrific but there is a lot of debate still going on at government level in respect of the airport deal and whether it will or will not happen. So I think it is a long way from projecting numbers especially that far into the future and sustainable growth over the next ten years is what we are seeking with the existing facilities that we have got here."

Brian Death in Vanuatu