PRIME Minister Rick Houenipwela has welcomed the assurance and commitment by the New Zealand government to upgrade three domestic airports in the Western province.
The Prime Minister said this will be a plus to the current Munda International Airport project.
“We welcome the assurance as this will greatly assist us in improving inter-island connectivity as well as linkage to other areas such as tourism, trade and improve fast and reliable services to our people. Thank you so much New Zealand for your support in the aviation sector,” the Prime Minister said.
He added that with New Zealand’s assistance, the second international airport will be ready to be opened in July this year.
“With this infrastructure, economical potentials are countless. There will be a need for the high demand and provision of beds, food, souvenirs, to name a few. New Zealand as leader in the tourism industry, Solomon Islands will be looking to you for guidance, investment and training to boost our capabilities,” he said.
The Prime Minister said New Zealand’s assistance to the development of airports in the Western Province, “the Tourism Hub” of Solomon Islands, has provided the much needed boost to the country’s tourism aspirations.
“The challenge for tourism operators will be the provision of services to cater for the influx of visitors. While it is a challenge, again there is the opportunity for hotels,” he said.
The Prime Minister also said the assistance by the New Zealand government on the upgrading of the Munda airport to become an International Airport is a project that is targeting the generation of economic activity.
He said the project is not only an important one for Solomon Islands but to the people and tourism operators in the Western Province.
“It is my hope that this milestone transpires into opportunities for active and meaningful partnerships in the economic and development of Solomon Islands,” he said.