Ofu Airport dedicates new runway
Written By: Tosimaea Tupua
The villages of Ofu and Olosega in Manua are growing, and its airport is growing right along with it.During the opening ceremony held yesterday July 14, 2022 in Manua, Lt Governor Talauega E. V Ale said the new and improved Ofu airport runway would mean better service for the people of Manua. It will also boost tourism related services which would improve visitor experience in Manu’a.“The new runway and airport play a critical role in driving economic growth, investment, jobs and tourism in the Territory, '' said Talauega.
American Samoa was among 41 states and territories which were awarded more than $273 million in grants in 2020. Ofu Airport received a grant of $8.1 million to rehabilitate the airport.
House of Representative for Ofu and Olosega, Honorable Tiaoalii Fauagiga Sai told KVZK News, the airport provides much needed economic growth, investment, jobs and tourism in Manu’a. “I hope the airport will attract businesses to Ofu and Olosega because we’re less congested.” What’s more, the airport will become a crucial hub after natural disasters and during other emergency-response situations”, said Tiaoalii. He continued “Air services are vital for delivering supplies and rescue services in Manu’a, as exemplified during Covid 19. The bottom line is this airport will bring benefits to Ofu and Olosega”.
Lt Governor Talauega said residents of Manua especially Ofu can be proud of the new airport runway and thanked the Department of Port Administration, Paramount builders, PPG consultants for all their hard work to complete construction despite the challenges posed by Covid 19.
The invocation service was conducted by Rev Ierome Solomona Taii of the CCCAS in Ofu and Acting Director of Port Administration Tumua W. Matuu gave special remarks on the construction work. The total cost of the construction was $8,673. 747 from funds provided under the Federal Aviation Administration Airport Improvements program. Director of Education Talauega Dr Samasoni Asaeli, Treasurer Malemo Tausaga and Chief Procurement Officer, Ti’alemasunu Dr Mikaele Etuale were present at the ceremony.