The SBD 117 million Santa Cruz airfield upgrade is set to commence soon through the Second Solomon Islands Roads and Aviation Project (SIRAP2). The works are being implemented by the Ministry of Communication and Aviation and are supported by the World Bank.

The ministry has received a good number of bids for the upgrade works. The evaluation of the technical part has been completed, with the evaluation of the financial part underway. Once the Bid Evaluation Report is cleared by the World Bank, the successful bidder will be notified for contract agreement signing. 

The upgrade is vital as the 645-kilometre distance from Honiara means it can be difficult for aircraft to return from Santa Cruz if there are adverse weather conditions or mechanical issues. 

At present the runway in Santa Cruz is topsoiled and often saturated with standing water. Without a proper pavement and drainage system, the runway is easily flooded, which damages the runway and makes landing and takeoff difficult. The northern end of the runway is also exposed to increasing wind driven ocean swells. SIRAP2 will also upgrade the airfield’s seawall, seal the runway, and improve the taxiway airfield drainage and apron. 

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Communication and Aviation Mr. Alwyn Danitofea said, “the upgrade will improve services to Santa Cruz. It will also reduce travel time and delays related to service disruption and increase passenger numbers.”  

SIRAP2 is also constructing four new bridges in Malaita (Kolofe1, Kolofe2, Su’u Harbor, and Bira Bridges), upgrading roads in Noro, providing upgrades to Honiara and Munda International Airports, providing investments in air navigation systems in Makira-Ulawa and Temotu Provinces, and supporting regional airport maintenance.



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