Vanuatu Tourism Office (VTO), industry and top level government officials are meeting urgently this morning to confirm the funding and timeline for the permanent repair of the runway at Port Vila’s Bauerfield International Airport.
Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia have suspended flights as a precautionary measure. Air Vanuatu, Fiji Airways, Solomon Airways and Aircalin are continuing their scheduled international flights operating in and out of the airport and remain satisfied, after independent assessments, that the condition of the runway is safe to continue jet operations at present.
Air Vanuatu is working closely with The Civil Aviation Authority of Vanuatu (CAAV) and Airports Vanuatu Limited (AVL) to resolve the issues facing the airport. Several temporary measures including daily mechanical sweeping of the runway are in place. These are being closely monitored to ensure they adhere to the high safety standards of Air Vanuatu and associated parties.
VTO General Manager Linda Kalpoi advised there will be a high level government meeting today in Port Vila at 10am local time where a more permanent solution will be confirmed.
“The Minister of Tourism has called a meeting with top level officials of the Prime Minister’s office, Ministry of Civil Aviation, AVL, industry and VTO and we’ll be working together to resolve this issue quickly and effectively,” Ms Kalpoi said.
“Finding the solution swiftly is of utmost importance to Vanuatu’s tourism industry and the country as a whole, and we will do everything we can to ensure suspended flights are resumed, whilst treating the safety of all travellers to Vanuatu as a paramount priority.”
Vanuatu Tourism Office will continue to update the industry and key stakeholders as more information is available.