The first phase of the Faleolo International Airport upgrade was officially opened this morning.

Constructed over one year by the Shanghai Construction Group, which included up to fifty Samoan personnel, the first phase unveils a passenger departure building complete with modern, state of the art technology for check-in, flight information displays, public address and information integration systems as well as more space for passengers, duty free shopping, restaurants and cafes.

Phase one was completed at a cost of US$31.7 million through a concessional loan from the government of China.

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi delivered the keynote address and reiterated government’s development objectives.

“Today marks a significant event in the history of aviation in Samoa.

“The completion of this new passenger arrival building is an achievement for government’s objective for airports and ports, as outlined in the Strategy for the Development of Samoa 2012-2016,” said Tuilaepa, also extending government’s “sincere thanks to Shanghai Construction Group for the completion of the first phase”.

Phase two for the new arrival lounge and phase three for the public areas and airport businesses will commence in January 2017 and set for completion by August/September 2017.  The new aerobridges can only be used when the whole terminal has been completed.

“Once all upgrading phases are completed, and with Samoa Airport Authority’s new vision to be the Pacific hub of air travel, it is government’s hope that more new air carriers will make use of the new Faleolo Airport facilities to boost our tourism, trade and transport,” said the Prime Minister.

China’s Ambassador to Samoa, His Excellency Wang Xuefeng, spoke of partnerships and cooperation.

“It is with mutual trust and support that we have managed to accomplish this grand project in such a short amount of time. In this regard I want to express my heartfelt appreciation to all the Samoan workers, engineers, technicians and management who have contributed to this project.

Ambassador Xuefeng also noted the air-service agreement between Samoa and China and shared his optimism for greater cooperation between both nations.

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