Wednesday, 26 August 2009 3:05 PM

Airport Needs Urgent Repair: Wickham

Permanent Secretary for Aviation and Communication Jeffery Wickham has told overseas media that facilities at the Honiara International Airport currently meet minimum safety standards but are in urgent need of repair.

Radio New Zealand International quoted Mr Wickham as saying a crack in the apron tarmac at the airport is getting bigger and there are concerns that this is affecting the area where aircrafts are parked.

He says the control tower has lost a lot of equipments, the existing system needs urgent replacement and new fire trucks are also needed, said Mr. Wickham.

The Aviation Permanent Secretary says the ministry is currently maintaining minimum standard required under the International Aviation Authority requirements and regulations, but the ministry still accepts planes to land.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Aviation is in the process of drafting a tender notice for interested contractors to repair the crack in the tarmac at the international runway.

Director of Aviation, Ben Kere says the tender notice has been drafted this morning and should be released before the end of the week.

Mr Kere denies that the cracked tarmac has caused disruptions to international flights arriving at the Honiara International Airport.

He says flights have been arriving on schedule without any disruptions.

Mr Kere says the only disruption caused was long delays in flight arrivals when the Solomon Islands Public Employees Union enforced their strike last Sunday.

The Honiara International Airport receives up to 10 international flights per week.

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