The Civil Aviation Authority of the Solomon Island (CAASI) in the Ministry of Aviation and Communication (MAC), is finalising a draft report for the possible expansion of the Suavanao airport in Isabel Province.
The airport is located at western end of Isabel province.
The CAASI officer who inspected Suavanao airport early this year, told the Solomon Star that he is currently working on the draft report and it should be completed by this week.
“The draft recommendation report should be completed by Friday and would be handed over to Director of Aviation for consideration.
“As soon as the Aviation Director receives this report, then the possible expansion of the airport would be considered,” the officer said.
When contacted, Director of Aviation, George Satu, said he is waiting for the recommendation report.
“As soon as the recommendation report reaches my office, then we would consider the proposal to expand the airport.
“At the moment, I won’t say anything until the report comes to my office. But I want to assure my good tourism operators in Kia that the Government would expand the airport as soon the recommendation reaches my office,” Mr Satu said.
The call for the expansion of the current airport comes following the increase visits by tourists into the Kia district.
Tourism operators want bigger aircraft to operate into Suavanao in order to fly in more tourists each week.
Currently only the Twin Otter and Islander aircrafts are able to fly into Suavanao and this has restricted the number of tourists visiting the region.
One of the operators suggested that Dash-8 is good, if one of its services starts from Honiara to Suavanao, then off to Gizo. This is so that some of the visitors can visit Kia for few days before flying off to the Western Province, rather than going back to Honiara then flying down to Gizo, which is costly.
By DENVER NEWTER