5 May 2014

Vanuatu's Efate chiefs back airport plan

6:31 am on 5 May 2014

The chiefs on Vanuatu's main island, Efate, have told the Government that they back plans for the construction of a new international airport on Efate.

The chairman of the Vaturisu Council of Chiefs of Efate, Henry Manlaewia, says Efate is the gateway to the country and has the infrastructure so it is only logical that it be built there.

Earlier last week, the chief of Mele Village Ati George Sokomanu, told the parliamentary committee investigating the controversial development that it would benefit the Singaporean investors but not the local people.

Meanwhile political leaders on Santo are pushing for the project to be sited at Luganville's Pekoa international airport.

The Santo site has been recommended in a feasibility study but with a rider that it does not have the basic infrastructure found in Port Vila and on Efate.

The airport development is reportedly set to cost more than 370 million US dollars.