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PRESS RELEASE June 8, 2018

A safer, more secure aviation sector for the Pacific as World Bank boosts funding for regional safety authority

Washington D.C., June 8, 2018 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved additional grant funding to bolster the operations of the Pacific Aviation Safety Office (PASO), responsible for delivering regulatory expertise on aviation safety and security in the Pacific.

Formally established in 2006 through the Pacific Islands Civil Aviation Safety and Security Treaty, PASO brings together technical resources and experts to advise individual countries on their respective air transport systems, in accordance with standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

The additional funding will support activities that will ensure financial self-sufficiency for PASO and put in place a new organizational framework to improve corporate governance. The framework will include a new information technology platform and communications strategy that will be implemented and refined over the coming three years. Training will also be supported, to expand the team of inspectors that oversee and deliver PASO services through its Pacific Inspector Development Program.

“The airspace overseen by PASO represents 15 percent of the planet –ensuring safe, secure and reliable air transport across this massive area is essential,” said World Bank Country Director for Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands, Michel Kerf. “Additional support for PASO ensures this critical regional organization will continue to strengthen its safety and security services across the Pacific region.”

“I am delighted by the continued support that the World Bank provides to PASO and what it means to aviation in the Pacific,” said PASO Chairman, Mr. Wilson Sagati. “PASO is heartened by the opportunity that the additional financing presents, which also supports the delivery of our 2018-2022 Strategic Plan and our three key strategic areas – service delivery excellence, organisational strengthening and respected partnerships.”

New activities will help PASO build on existing reforms, which include the establishment of a register of aviation safety and security inspectors and an increased uptake of PASO services, which reflect more confidence in the authority across the region.

This funding boost will be provided through a regional grant of US$3.55 million from the International Development Association, the World Bank’s fund for the most in-need countries. Funds will complement past assistance provided by the governments of Australia and New Zealand.

This grant is a part of a series of projects implemented under the Pacific Aviation Investment Program, a regional program designed to increase aviation safety and security in the Pacific. The program focuses on developing key airport infrastructure such as runways, navigation aids and lighting, as well as technical assistance for improving airport management and operations as well as aviation sector development.