13 Jun 2014

World Bank drops reference to Tongan plane but has 'concern'

4:14 pm on 13 June 2014

The World Bank has sent a revised transport report to the Tongan and New Zealand Governments, removing any reference to a controversial plane in an earlier draft.

The MA60's proper validation is disputed by New Zealand's Foreign Minister, Murray McCully, who is maintaining a travel advisory for New Zealanders in Tonga.

Last month the Tongan Deputy Prime Minister, Samiu Vaipulu, criticised the World Bank's draft report, saying the bank did not approach him or the Civil Aviation Division before concluding the plane was not validated.

Last week a New Zealand aircraft inspector, Peter Williams, gave a report to the Tongan Government saying the plane was certified by China and validated by Tonga according to the guidelines of the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

The revised report still expresses "some concern" over aviation issues and recommends Tonga work with ICAO on all questions related to the airworthiness of registered aircraft.