18 Mar 2016

Vanuatu runway repairs progressing well

8:12 pm on 18 March 2016

Authorities in Vanuatu say emergency repairs to the runway at the country's main international airport are progressing well, despite recent poor weather.

Port Vila international airport

Port Vila international airport Photo: RNZ

In January, some airlines, including Air New Zealand and Qantas, stopped flying to Port Vila's Bauerfield Airport, citing safety concerns over the runway's condition.

In a statement, the chief executive of Airports Vanuatu, Jason Rakau, said the runway would be closed in coming weeks for contractors to work uninterrupted.

Domestic flights will use Twin Otter aircraft on the airport's grass runway, and the closures would be timed to avoid international arrivals and departures.

The New Zealand contractor, Fulton Hogan, is currently conducting tests on the runway, as well as surface enrichment spray treatment and crack sealing.

A shipment of other materials, including cold mix asphalt, is expected to arrive in the country next week.