By EDDIE OSIFELO
FLIGHT cancellation to Ngorangora Airport in Kirakira, Makira Ulawa province, may soon become a thing of the past now.
This was after Trades Transformation Company Ltd upgraded the grassy airstrip and expected to complete it in two weeks’ time.
Owner of TTC, Leslie Tarzan Holosivi said they have completed half of the 600-meter airstrip.
Holosivi said they will move to the other half of the airstrip to allow the Dash 8 and Twin Outter planes to land on the other side.
He said in the past if it rains, Solomon Airlines would cancel its flights to Kirakira.
“It is a big loss to Solomon Airlines.
“This time it does not happen because we complete half of it and plane can still land even though it rains,” he said.
The upgrading of the airstrip comes under Ministry of Communication and Aviation.
It is a $1.8 million project and a timeline of 6 weeks.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has announced during the Makira Ulawa province Second Appointed Day in Kirakira on 5th August 2021 that the tar sealing of the Ngorangora Airport was listed for the second phase of the current airport tar-sealing program.
“However, because the government does not own the land of interest – development partners are not comfortable in funding any proposed project on that land.
“Because of this, the government will soon consider a policy for the outright purchase of lands where strategic infrastructures are constructed,” he said.
Sogavare said once this policy is approved, the government will consider outright purchase of the land of interest at Ngorangora.
In the meantime, TTC also carryout emergency works on the Makira unsealed coastal roads after the Government through the Ministry of Infrastructure Development through the Central Tender Board (CTB) awarded the contract in April 29 2021.
This road network runs eastwards from Kirakira to Rawo and westwards from Kirakira to Wango covering a total of 69km.
Contract for this emergency project totaling $5.9 million was already mobilized on site in late May last year.
This is funded under the SIG Development Budget under the Economic Infrastructure Program (EIR).
Prime Minister Sogavare also highlighted constructing a sustainable wharf at Kirakira to serve the interests of business houses and the travelling public to and from Kirakira is vital.
The Kirakira wharf is part of the Land and Maritime connectivity Project (LMCP). Design and bidding documents for this project including the rest of the maritime package including the Kirakira wharf was compiled in May 2021 while the procurement of the Construction Supervision firm has been completed.
Sogavare also mentioned the Rawo and Warihito Bridges needs to be constructed because they are considered strategic to support cocoa farmers in that area to boost cocoa production.