The China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) begins constructing the Munda International Airport Terminal Building after a ground-breaking ceremony on Friday.
The new terminal building will be constructed at a cost of approximately USD7 million funded the World Bank under and implemented by the Ministry of Communication and Aviation under the Solomon Islands Roads and Aviation Project (SIRAP). The procurement process strictly adhered to the World Banks’ Procurement Regulations.
In 2019, the government obtained financial resources from the World Bank to implement roads and aviation projects under SIRAP and Munda terminal building and Munda airport overlay made the list to be implemented under the project.
The Munda new Terminal Building was procured and awarded to CCECC in 2020 as a Design and Build Project.
CCECC mobilised to Munda in early 2022 and established on site and completed preliminary works including site preparation.
“The construction proper is starting and so this ground-breaking ceremony marks this milestone,” Hon. Peter Shanel Agovaka said during the ceremony in Munda.
Hon. Agovaka who is the Minister of Communication and Aviation led a high-level delegation to officiate the ground-breaking.
“The modern design employs an integrated terminal building serving both international and domestic movements simultaneously thereby maximizing space and optimizing operations within the terminal,” he said.
The new Munda International Airport Terminal is scheduled to be completed by June 2023.
The other component of the project is to overlay the existing Munda airport runway, the apron parking areas and taxiway to 50mm with asphalt material that will add to safety and durability of pavement life to support aircraft operation to the airport. China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) has been awarded to implement this component worth approximately USD 15 million and scheduled for completion by May 2023.
Minister Agovaka said the ground-breaking ceremony was a culmination of an achievement forged through partnerships built over the years with local landowning groups, Western Provincial Government, and donor partners.
He acknowledged the Dunde Vetu Bangara landowning group and the United Church of Solomon Islands who severed their land to contribute to the development of the airport.
He also thanked CCECC for showing interest to bid and winning the contract to deliver the new terminal and the World Bank for the funding assistance.
The ground-breaking ceremony marked the continued transformation of Munda airport. In 2012, the New Zealand Government and Solomon Islands Government implemented the Munda Airport Upgrading Project phase I and II to upgrade Munda airport to an alternate international Airport. The upgrade was part of the government’s programme through the Ministry of Communication and Aviation to improve safety, promote tourism and business development in Western Province.
Solomon Airlines operates weekly flights from Brisbane to Munda but has suspended the service as a measure taken by the Solomon Islands Government to manage entry of COVID-19 to the country since early 2020.
However, international flights to Munda are expected to resume when the new terminal completes around June 2023.
Source: SIRAP Communication