Larger aircraft to be able to land at Bauerfield, thanks to additional funds from World Bank for Vanuatu Aviation Investment Project

The World Bank's Vanuatu Aviation Investment Project will enable long-haul Code E aircraft such as Boeing's 787 (above) to use Bauerfield International Airport

The World Bank’s Vanuatu Aviation Investment Project will enable larger, long-haul Code E aircraft such as Boeing’s 787 (above) to use Bauerfield International Airport. Photo: Boeing

The World Bank announced USD 14 million (Approx. Vt 1.5 billion) in additional funding to strengthen air transport and an expansion of works under the Vanuatu Aviation Investment Project yesterday. Vanuatu’s Finance Minister Gaeton Pikioune says  Read the rest of this entry »


Airport upgrade bids announced next month; Claims Airports Vanuatu Ltd used as a political slush fund

Luganville's Pekoa International Airport: companies also bidding to upgrade the country's northern international airport.

Luganville’s Pekoa International Airport: companies also bidding to upgrade the country’s northern international airport.

Bidding in the Bauerfield runway upgrade project also sees four companies vying for consideration for the Whitegrass Tanna and Santo Pekoa airport improvements. Four companies chose only to bid for the Bauerfield project. Long-term and newly arrived companies are bidding. Winning bids will be jointly approved by Government and the World Bank. Successful bids are likely to be known within a month.

Severe criticism surrounds Airports Vanuatu Limited (AVL)’s management practices, with politicians accusing previous regimes of malpractice and of misusing AVL funds on motions of no confidence. Public Utilities Minister Napat was answering questions from Ambae MP Mata in Parliament. The Minister said AVL “is quite messy. It is dirtier than dirt. And it is very Read the rest of this entry »


Massive tourism developments proposed for Port Vila – but are adequate urban planning processes in place to protect our city from rapacious development?

An architectural rendering of the proposed resort at Melcoffe. Port Vila's urban planning processes are practically non-existent – so why is Govt pushing for a development of this scale at this location?

An architectural rendering of the proposed resort at Melcoffe. Port Vila’s urban planning processes are practically non-existent – so why is Govt pushing for a development of this scale at this location?

An ambitious new plan to improve Vanuatu’s aviation and tourism sectors” is relegated to second place on the Radio Vanuatu News today. But Daily Post links works for the new Bauerfield terminal and a massive hotel project at Melcoffe on page one. Certainly the projects are huge and China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation is a large company and is considered to have served Vanuatu well so far, the new jobs signed for yesterday having the additional security of a “bankable feasibility study” by March next year for independent consideration and protection of Government finances.

This is a matter which will invite serious criticism and the Vanuatu Daily Digest has strong views on Read the rest of this entry »


Prime Minister slams Financial Intelligence Unit for freezing 2017 Pacific Games bank account, confirms full Govt support for VAN2017

Logo of the 2017 Vanuatu Pacific Games

A new statutory body has been created to enable VAN2017 to resume its management of the 2017 Vanuatu Pacific Games, due to take place this time next year. VAN2017 was set up as a charitable organisation, but the Ministry of Finance and Economic Management Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) froze their bank account, seemingly arbitrarily, following a series of Council of Ministers decisions which appear to aimed at wresting control away from the organising committee and back to the Government.

Daily Post reports today that Prime Minister Charlot Salwai has strongly criticised the FIU’s actions, writing in a letter to the FIU Manager that “there is no clear evidence that VAN2017 has been engaged in any fraudulent actions or that state funds have been misused in any way… I am deeply concerned that Read the rest of this entry »


Extraordinary session of Parliament adjourns to give MPs sufficient time to study bills for debate

Vanuatu Parliament House, Port Vila. Photo: PhillipC/Flickr

Parliament was adjourned 24 hours yesterday to give enough time to all MPs to study the Bills for debate as it was argued there had been insufficient time for this. It seems the extra time was insufficient for Opposition MPs – none turned up for the sitting this morning. No other explanation reached the House as 24 Government MPs waited for the 2nd extraordinary sitting to begin. Nor was any further explanation given in VBTC lunchtime news. Without a quorum, Parliament was obliged to further postpone the sitting, until 2 o’clock tomorrow afternoon. (Radio Vanuatu)

The new MP for Malo/Aore, Uri Warawara of the Graon mo Jastis Party, was sworn in yesterday.

Government believes the  Read the rest of this entry »


New Air Vanuatu ATR-72-600 to begin service next week

Air Vanuatu's new ATR-72-600, callsign YJ-AV73, is currently en route to Vanuatu to beign service. Photo: Supplied

Air Vanuatu’s new ATR-72-600, callsign YJ-AV73, is currently en route from the ATR factory in Toulouse, France to Vanuatu to begin service on Monday. Photo: Supplied

The new ATR-72-600 for Air Vanuatu arrives in Port Vila on Monday, when there will be a welcome ceremony at the airport. The aircraft, Air Vanuatu’s first 600 model, will provide domestic services as well as regional routes such as the one to Tontouta, New Caledonia. (Daily Post)

Manufacturer ATR released this amazing video showing the new Air Vanuatu aircraft being built in the factory, including a very cool timelapse of the plane being painted in the Air Vanuatu colours:

The National Coordinator of the Custom Land Management Act says it is “necessary to increase the [Department of] Lands budget and revisit the new Act to facilitate a peaceful process towards resolving land disputes.” Alicta Vuti made the statement after being threatened in relation to a land dispute Read the rest of this entry »


Air Vanuatu Twin Otter cable snap incident under investigation

File photo of an Air Vanuatu Twin Otter at Gaua Airport. Photo: Olivier Morice/Wikimedia Commons

File photo of an Air Vanuatu Twin Otter at Gaua Airport. Photo: Olivier Morice/Wikimedia Commons

The broken cable which caused “technical difficulties” with the Twin Otter plane at Walaha just over a week ago is being investigated. Air Vanuatu, Vanuatu Civil Aviation and Civil Aviation NZ are conducting the inquiry. The cable was manufactured in New Zealand. The break was potentially very serious, but occurred just as the plane was landing and the pilot handled the matter majestically, Air Vanuatu advises. Good news for Air Vanuatu safety at the same time is the airline’s passing of its IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA). CEO Joseph Laloyer said the results of the 2016 audit were the best ever achieved by the company. (Daily Post)

Read the rest of this entry »