11 Jun 2014

Tonga and China talk rebuild of Ha'apai airport

10:54 am on 11 June 2014

Tonga's Deputy Prime Minister says reconstruction work at Ha'apai's Pilolevu Airport will cost 4.7 million US dollars.

Samiu Vaipulu told Radio Tonga the reconstruction was one of the issues discussed in his recent talks in Beijing.

He says the re-construction of Pilolevu Airport includes an extension of the terminal and the runway to enable the connecting flights between Ha'apai and Niue.

He says the Government had previously estimated it would cost about 3 million but it is now clear more money is needed.

Three companies have put in a bid for the work.

China's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi, says Tonga is eligible for a soft loan to help develop its infrastructure and can also apply for a grant from China's development fund.