A groundbreaking ceremony took place this morning to signal the start to upgrading works for the Faleolo International Airport Terminal.

Launched by Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, the project groundbreaking follows the signing of an agreement between the Governments of China and Samoa which took place in December 2014.

“These upgrades include extensive improvements to existing terminal buildings, installation of aerobridges and a dedicated power centre.

“This major task has been assigned to Shanghai Construction Group, a company that has contributed significantly to the construction of some key infrastructure projects in Samoa,” said Tuilaepa.

Upgrades will see an increase in the size of the terminal from 5500 sqm to almost 12000 sqm, allowing the facilities to cater for up to 600,000 annual passenger movements with maximum passenger flow volume of 300 passengers per hour.

According to the Prime Minister, the design of the building incorporates the style of the traditional Samoan Fale and draws on current greening principles of design to assure more efficient use of natural lighting and ventilation.

“For the Airport Authority, this upgrade will mean more business and rental areas from which more tourism-related services can be provided to ensure an improved experience for travellers, befitting of a modern day international airport.  The aerobridges will provide a more comfortable experience for our elderly and disabled passengers, not to mention families with small children visiting us for a holiday.

“In essence, the arrival, departure and public areas will all be enlarged with airport-related agencies and services operating from more spacious and functional work spaces,” said the Prime Minister.

Following the completion of this project – upgrading of the apron, the landing and take-off areas for aircraft will constitute a second phase, funded by the World Bank.

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