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PRESS RELEASE

World Bank Supports Improved Safety in Samoa’s Aviation Sector

March 6, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 6, 2014 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$25 million grant to the Independent State of Samoa for the Samoa Aviation Investment Project to improve the safety and security oversight of international air transport and associated infrastructure.

Samoa’s remote, geographically dispersed islands and small population relies on safe and reliable air services to connect to each other, to connect the country to larger markets, and to facilitate important industries such as tourism. The improvements made under the project will benefit as many as 200,000 people who travel to and from Samoa each year, including tourists, travelers visiting friends and relatives, and those who use air travel for business, education, or health reasons.

“Aviation plays a vital economic and social role in Samoa, providing links to essential medical and educational services, while also facilitating the country’s resiliency in responding to emergency situations,” said Chris De Serio, World Bank Transport Specialist. “Improved safety and reliability ensures access and connectivity to regional and global markets, which will also encourage growth in the tourism sector.”    

Investments at the Faleolo International airport will include runway and apron resurfacing, installing high-intensity energy-efficient runway lighting, improving power supply as well as water storage, installing secure communications, air navigation aids and upgrading of air traffic control equipment. Better fire safety equipment and closed-circuit television coverage will also serve to complement the safety and security improvements.

The International Development Association grant, together with co-financing support from other partners including Australia through the Pacific Regional Infrastructure Facility, will also be supporting Samoa in strengthening the policy and regulatory environment, as well as measures for improving operational and management capacity of Samoa's airports.

The Samoa Aviation Investment Project is part of a series of projects implemented under the Pacific Aviation Investment Program that are designed to increase aviation safety and security across the Pacific, focusing on developing key airport infrastructure for international travel.

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PRESS RELEASE NO:
2014/359/EAP