Prime Minister steps in to halt Air Vanuatu’s planned termination of ni-Vanuatu pilots

Air Vanuatu Boeing 737-800 AV1 loading at Port Vila's Bauerfield International Airport. Photo: Air Vanuatu

Air Vanuatu’s plan to terminate a number of local pilots has been halted by Prime Minister Charlot Salwai, whose office is one of four Government shareholders of the national airline. The Air Vanuatu Board is being instructed by the PM to finance the upgrading of the pilots’ qualifications, to the highest licence available, the Airline Transport Pilot’s Licence. The PM views developing the airline’s human resources as an investment made in the national interest. (Daily Post)

Former Air Vanuatu pilot Ron Sumsum has been terminated as CEO of Solomon Airlines, according to a report from Solomon Islands national broadcaster SIBC. The airline gave no reason for the termination, however the owner of the airline, the Solomon Islands Government, was reportedly unhappy with Sumsum’s action last June to suspend flight operations due to the non-payment of millions of dollars owed to the airline by the Government.

A stay order being sought by the 14 former politicians imprisoned for bribery last year has been refused. The Appeal Court issued its decision late yesterday. The 14 convicted men had been seeking  to stay proceedings against them while other related cases in the matter are before the courts. More details will be given later, says Thompson Marango in Daily Post today, when the full decision is available.

The Malvatumauri kastom governance project is proceeding on four islands – Malo, Ambae, Efate and Tanna. The Malvatumauri’s Jean-Pierre Tom said many resolutions had been decided by the national body representing and comprising custom chiefs. There are resolutions concerning land and the authority of kastom. Issues such as the delimitation of custom boundaries are involved. A national road map for the Malvatumauri has been created. All islands are being involved ultimately, the four mentioned being part of a pilot project. (Radio Vanuatu)

The contractor on the Port Vila Urban Development Project says certain roads at night will be completely closed to enable works to proceed. Signage indicates what alternative routes drivers should take. The work proceeds at night for safety and efficiency. (Radio Vanuatu)

The Fisheries Department is to create a national fisheries policy and has held a two-day consultation with Efate communities and stakeholders for this purpose. Industrial fishery development, seafood safety, value adding, and illegal and un-reported fishing activity have been on the agenda. The policy should reach finality after consultation with all provinces, in the near future. (Radio Vanuatu)