The government yesterday (15th March) took delivery of the new international terminal thanks to the government and people of Japan.
The new terminal was smaller than the old one but cleaner and less complicated to identify important areas such as the security screening area, the immigration section and the convenient rooms.
The new terminal is boosted with a large departure area, duty- free shops, a business lounge area, VIP lounge and several cafeterias.
In his guest of honor speech, Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare thanked the government and people of Japan for the wonderful gift.
PM Sogavare said the construction of the new terminal is long time coming, it will address important areas such as “…increasing efficiency, reduce risk to facilities, and improve safety of the travelling public and safety of aircrafts as well”.
PM Sogavare said the real test of the new terminal is when thousands of athletes and officials will depart after the completion of the Pacific Games in December this year.
“I am sure that the capacity of this International Departure will be put to the test then,” the Prime Minister stated.
PM Sogavare further highlighted that government is always committed to tourism development, and the hope is that the Ministry of Communication and Aviation will be able to manage effectively passengers and cargoes, arriving and departing Honiara airport.
“Similarly, with increased airport efficiency, we will promote Honiara International Airport as a destination in our region,” PM Sogavare added.
The Prime Minister highlighted that the Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement (DCGA) is always ambitious in its plans and visions, to that extent the current Honiara International Runway must be extended to cater for the plan to tap the huge Asian market.
PM Sogavare expressed that the current runway is an obstacle to the plan to tap the Asian market, however, if the runway is not extended then consideration must be made to build a bigger international airport in another province.
The Prime Minister added that the country’s population is one of the fastest in the Pacific region, and that by 2030 the country’s population will be second to Fiji, in addition, the increasing number of seasonal workers traveling to Australia and New Zealand- our infrastructures must be able to accommodate this growth.
PM Sogavare thanked the government and people of Japan for the assistance in addressing connectivity in the transport sector.
“The increasing assistance by Japan in the Transport Sector is a very clear sign of strength of partnership between our countries and we hope that our partnership will continue to grow,” the Prime Minister added.
PM Sogavare further expressed that the development of the transport sector is crucial to development and in that vein, DCGA will continue to work with the government of Japan and other development partners to develop the sector.
-PM Press Sec