Aviation authority within the ministry of communication and aviation (MCA) says safety of airport runway is a priority.
Alwyn Navo aviation’s chief air traffic training officer highlighted this during a courtesy call to Isabel provincial government’s headquarter in Buala last Friday.
Mr Navo was part of the Solomon Islands visitors bureau delegation (SIVB) officials that met Isabel provincial premier James Habu last week.
During that meeting Mr Navo verbally informed him about status and condition of Suavanao airstrip and issues surrounding the runway.
Mr Navo who inspected the Suavanao airstrip following request from the Papatura Island Retreat management said the aviation wants to ensure that most of the rural runways are up to standard and safe to ensure aircrafts can land safely.
He added the Suavanao runway has more room to expand to care for bigger aircraft like the Dash-8.
The aviation official urged the provincial government to push hard for funds to help expand the runway.
“I urge the provincial government and line ministry to push hard for this airstrip so that the national government can fund it.”
He said the airstrip has a potential to expand because of the growing tourism activity happening in that part of the province.
“Through my observation which I’ll submit my report to my superior the airstrip has vast potential to expand but needs everyone to support and push for it.”
Mr Habu in response said his government would work closely with the airline and responsible ministry to look into upgrading the runway just like Munda airport.
“National and provincial government have been convinced about the increasing tourists arrival on Suavanao therefore my government would work closely with the responsible authorities on this issue.”
The premier also urged the SIVB and ministry to help his government to push for this expansion development.
By DENVER NEWTER