5 Mar 2018

Rehabilitation work starts on Vanuatu airfield

11:37 am on 5 March 2018

Rehabilitation work on Vanuatu's Bauerfield International airport has finally gotten underway after months of delays.

Representatives of Vanuatu's government and China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation attend a ground-breaking ceremony for the project to rehabilitate Port Vila's international airport, Bauerfield.

Representatives of Vanuatu's government and China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation attend a ground-breaking ceremony for the project to rehabilitate Port Vila's international airport, Bauerfield. Photo: Vanuatu Project Management Unit

The contractor China Civil Engineering was supposed to have started work last year but faced opposition from Vanuatu biosecurity authorities and local chiefs after trying to bring in potentially contaminated gravel from China.

The company then sourced 60-thousand tonnes of aggregate from Australia and more is on its way.

The project manager Harrison Toar Luen said work has begun on the airport apron which will be expanded to provide more parks for larger aircraft.

Mr Luen said they will then focus on drainage and widening ground lighting and shoulders before tackling the most critical work on the runway itself.

Several international airlines stopped flying into Port Vila in 2016 when faults were found in the runway.

The rehabilitation work is being funded by the World Bank.

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