By Mike Puia
PARASI airport in Small Malaita is being prepped to reopen after nearly two decades of closure.
In 2000, Parasi airport was closed down. It was during the height of the ethnic tension that broke out in Guadalcanal.
Since then, traveling travel to and out of Small Malaita has been an issue. Travellers rely on ferry or powered canoe to get to Afio, Small Malaita’s main station.
As of January, materials, machines, fuel have been arriving at the site – and work has started.
Work started with civil tasks from clearing of the runway and surrounding perimeter, scraping of top soil to reach subgrade level, backfill of identified areas, compaction of threshold area on taxiway and working on drainage on side of runway to account for runoffs.
A Small Malaita traveller, Graham Tahu, said the opening of the airport will provide another means of transportation for traveling public.
“This means, more people will travel between Honiara and other destinations.
“This will make life easy for travellers and will boost business activities in our rural communities. It can be tourism and many more,” Tahu said.
He added they have missed this essential service for years and look forward to its resumption.