25 Aug 2009

Solomons international airport in need of repairs

2:30 pm on 25 August 2009

The aviation ministry in Solomon Islands says facilities at the country's only international airport are meeting minimum safety standards but are in urgent need of repair.

The Ministry's Permanent Secretary, Jeffrey Wickham, says a crack in the apron tarmac at the airport in Honiara is getting bigger and there's concern it's affecting the area where aircraft park.

He says the control tower has lost a lot of equipment and the existing systems need urgent replacement, and new fire trucks are also needed.

Mr Wickham says the airport is safe for now but urgent action is needed

"At the moment, we're sort of maintaining the minimum standard required under the the International Civil Aviation Authority requirements and regulations. We do still accept planes to land, that sort of thing. But when the situation gets worse it's going to be a real problem for us here. We are urgently addressing these matters."

Jeffrey Wickham says it will cost a lot of money to do the repair work and he hopes to ensure the government realises the importance of the airport to the country's economy.