PORT VILA, 28th July, 2017 – The Vanuatu Project Management Unit (VPMU) confirms that all preparatory works towards the World Bank-funded Vanuatu Aviation Investment Project (VAIP) are very much on track, with works starting before the end of next month. Since the signing of the contract in May 2017, the contractors have been given a three-month mobilization period. During that time, they are expected to set up bases, mobilize equipment and machinery, recruit and hire key staff and personnel; and carry out important consultations with surrounding airport communities most likely to be impacted by the project. Much of these preparatory works have been advanced greatly and as of this week, community consultations were being conducted in Rangorango and Switi, as well as the two schools at Blacksands and Prima. More of these will be carried out after the independence week and progressively during the nine-month construction period. Currently, mobilization of specialized machinery such as asphalt concrete (AC) plant and a paver by the contractors are two weeks away from arrival, while negotiations with the leaseholder for the laydown site of aggregates are being finalized. Vanuatu Aviation Investment Project Manager, Harrison Toar Luen expressed optimism that works should commence on schedule, with all preparatory works for both Bauerfield and Pekoa in Santo happening at the same time. “As indicated during the bidding process, the contractors are contractually bound to source all aggregates from Fiji, unless there is insufficient quantity, requiring that they look elsewhere,” said Toar, who is also taking on the role of supervising engineer for the project in the interim, until the government agrees and signs a new contract for a supervising engineer. The government has been forced to sole source for a supervising engineer, because of the current boom in construction activities within the region, presenting a challenge to finalize and sign a supervising contractor sooner, since the sacking of Korean consultants, Yooshin Engineering Corporation in May. An announcement is expected before the start of the rehabilitation works. Vanuatu Project Management Unit Port-Vila Mall Building Paris Street PO Box 192 Port Vila, Vanuatu Tel: (678) 26415/33240 Fax: (678) 26419 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Unité de Gestion du Projet de Vanuatu Bâtiment Port-Vila Mall Rue de Paris BP 192 Port Vila, Vanuatu Tel: (678) 26415/33240 Fax: (678) 26419 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 2 “We are very mindful of the interest that a lot of our tourism and airline operators and stakeholders have in this project. We can understand the angst people might have. We wish to assure that we are well on track and we are doing everything to keep that momentum going,” said Mr. Toar. Airports Vanuatu Limited are continuing to work closely with airlines to keep them abreast of developments, while ensuring required maintenance is carried out without delay

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