8th November 2017
While the runway at Port Vila Airport has already been having some renovations of its own, the focus has now shifted to the Airport Terminal. Work has already commenced on the terminal with the renovations aimed to improve the passenger experience for those arriving and departing on flights to Vanuatu.
The work is expected to be completed by the end of the year, with the renovations offering additional seating, improved bathroom facilities and climate control as well as overall cosmetic improvements to the terminal. The terminal upgrade aims to increase both passenger comfort and efficiency.
Funded by the World Bank, the development of Bauerfield Airport in Port Vila is expected to cost around VT1.6 billion which equates to roughly US$14 million and is in addition to the earlier funding received for upgrades to the runway. Given Vanuatu’s popularity as a holiday destination, particularly with Australians, the terminal upgrade will offer some welcome improvements.
The island nation of Vanuatu has a popular of 275,582 and was ranked as the world’s fourth happiest place last year by the Happy Planet Index. Tourism accounts for roughly 20 per cent of Vanuatu’s total economic activity and according to national statistics figures released in January, international arrivals by air comprise 22 per cent of total visitors.
The Bauerfield Airport renovation is vital to encourage growth in tourism and to restore confidence in safe flight operations. It will also deliver a new level of resilience that will allow effective and prompt access for international aid in the event of natural disasters.
“Aviation is absolutely critical to Vanuatu’s economy, providing essential transport links for tourism, trade and disaster response and recovery,” said World Bank Country Director for Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands, Michel Kerf.