22 Jan 2018

Vanuatu land purchase priority for airports

4:29 pm on 22 January 2018

The head of Airports Vanuatu Limited says Vanuatu's future depends on the government acquiring land to support infrastructure development.

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Photo: 123RF

This follows news that about 300 people are to be relocated to make way for an extension at Pekoa Airport on the island of Santo.

Jason Rakau said land around Pekoa, Bauerfield Airport in the capital Port Vila, and Whitegrass Airport on Tanna was being assessed by the government.

He said airport development was a main economic driver of the country's wealth through the tourism industry.

Mr Rakau said the rehabilitation of Bauerfield's runway was the current priority after some airlines had refused to use the airport because of concerns the runway wasn't safe.

He said the government would negotiate any compensation with landowners who were affected by relocation due to the airports' development through a transparent process.