12 May 2015

Longer Vanuatu runway not needed - World Bank

8:41 pm on 12 May 2015

The World Bank says the runway at Vanuatu's Bauerfield Airport will not be lengthened as part of a multi million dollar update of aviation services.

The Bank is providing Vanuatu with a concessional loan of $US59.5 million dollars for the upgrade, which will include runway resurfacing, and new taxi-ways and aprons at Bauerfield.

Port Vila international airport

Port Vila international airport Photo: RNZ

A longer runway or a new airport at another location were key elements in a controversial scheme last year promoted by a mysterious Singaporean company.

The company had forged an understanding with the previous Vanuatu government under Moana Carcasses, however current prime minister Joe Natuman distanced his administration from that scheme.

Meanwhile, the World Bank stepped in and its Pacific director, Franz Drees-Gross, says they see no need to extend Bauerfield's runway.

"Right now we think with those upgrades Bauerfield has the capacity to serve Port Vila well for many years to come. And right now there is no lengthening of the runway that is contemplated."

The World Bank's Franz Drees-Gross says they will also be conducting lighting, cabling and navigational aids, both at Bauerfield and some outer island airports.

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