Contract signed to repair Vanuatu's broken airport runway


New Zealand civil contracting company Fulton Hogan have been awarded the contract to conduct emergency repairs of Vanuatu's Bauerfield International Airport.

The country's new Prime Minister, Charlot Salwai, has made it a top priority, and repairs are set to be completed by April.

Fulton Hogan is due to sign the contact any day now, then equipment and experts will follow almost immediately.

The repairs are expected to be finished in 56 days, aiming for an April 6 completion date.

The Vanuatu Tourism Office welcome the repairs.

"Ensuring all airlines are fully satisfied with the standard of the runway giving them the confidence to reinstate their flights is imperative to the success of Vanuatu's tourism industry," general manager Linda Kalpoi said.

"We are very happy the new Prime Minister has acknowledged the importance and urgency of this matter and has addressed the issue promptly."

The repairs will mean Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia no longer have to suspend their flights to Vanuatu's international airport, which they did in mid-January.

Air Vanuatu, Fiji Airways, AirCalin and Solomon Airways have continued flying to Port Vila during this time after conducting independent assessments which confirmed the safety of the runway.

Virgin Australia is currently taking bookings to Port Vila from 2 April, 2016 with Air New Zealand yet to confirm when it will re-instate its services.