Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has paid homage to the landowners of Taro airfield for allowing their land for the important infrastructure.

During the official ground-breaking ceremony, PM Sogavare acknowledged the landowners in his speech, marking the upgrading of the Taro airfield.

“I respect and appreciate the decision that you made to allow this land to host this infrastructure, which is servicing our people of Choiseul Province,” the Prime Minister stated.

The Prime Minister acknowledged the governments of Australia and New Zealand and their people respectively for the assistance. He says the project is co-funded by the national government together with the governments of Australia and New Zealand.

“This is a testament to our ongoing cooperation. As part of the Pacific family, we appreciate the continuous assistance that has been provided by your two governments,” PM Sogavare stated.

He assured the governments of Australia and New Zealand through their high commissioners who were present at the ceremony that the national government will continue to strengthen and nurture this relationship going forward.

Prime Minister Sogavare anticipates the Taro airfield upgrade completion and for the same project to take place at Seghe airfield in Western Province.

He also expressed his full confidence in the contractor- Downer- to do an excellent job. The Prime Minister further called on the people of Choiseul to look after the airfield ensuring that it is clean and safe at all times.

Once completed, the Taro airfield upgrade project will be an all-weather airfield that can withstand any weather condition and accommodate the dash- 8, our largest domestic plane.

The upgrade of the Taro airfield will see a 950m by 30m sealed runway with a taxiway and apron, as well as the installation of a solar-powered lighting system.

The upgrading of the Taro airfield is part of the $250m Solomon Islands Provincial Airfield Upgrade project.