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The Government of Vanuatu is currently implementing the Vanuatu Aviation Investment Project (VAIP), supported by the World Bank.

VAIP is part of the Pacific Aviation Investment Program (PAIP), a regional aviation program which has the development objective to provide safe and secure air transport operations and environmentally sustainable and efficient airports.

PAIP has commenced implementation of key aviation investments in six Pacific Island countries: Kiribati, Tonga, Samoa, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands.

VAIP is being implemented by the Ministry of Infrastructure & Public Utilities and the Vanuatu Project Management Unit. The project team works closely with Civil Aviation Authority Vanuatu, Airports Vanuatu Ltd and other development partners to implement improvements at three airfields including Bauerfield International Airport (VLI) in Port Vila, Pekoa International Airport (SON) in Santo, and Whitegrass International Airport (TAH) on Tanna. 

The project comprises: (i) runway rehabilitation pavement works; (ii) installation and upgrade of navigational aids (NAVAIDS); (iii) replacement or upgrade of rescue fire tenders; and, (iv)some associated engineering design and supervision consultancies, aviation sector and master plan studies, training along with project implementation support activities.

Primary beneficiaries are air travellers throughout the Pacific Islands, as well as the national and regional administrative bodies and personnel involved in air transport management, freight and passenger air service providers. Other indirect beneficiaries are tourism-related services and seasonal labour markets.

The project development objective is to improve operational safety and oversight of international air transport infrastructure. The project comprises the following components:

Component A: International Airport Infrastructure Investments. The component will invest in international aviation infrastructure to meet and maintain minimum ICAO safety and security standards.

The focus is on international airports, including:

(i) rehabilitation and/or resurfacing of airport runway, apron and taxiway pavements at Bauerfield International Airport;

(ii) extension of the apron area at Bauerfield International Airport;

(iii) construction of new taxiways and widening of the existing taxiway at Bauerfield International Airport;

(iv) upgrading/installation of airport runway lighting and cabling at Bauerfield, Pekoa and Whitegrass International Airports, and approach lighting at Bauerfield International Airport;

(v) construction of a new domestic terminal, and demolition of the existing domestic terminal, at Bauerfield International Airport;

(vi) provision of air traffic control equipment at Bauerfield and Pekoa International Airports;

(vii) provision and installation of aviation navigation aids;

(viii) provision and installation of weather monitoring equipment at Bauerfield and Whitegrass International Airports;

(ix) upgrading of communications equipment and systems;

(x) provision and installation of  ‘Very Small Aperture Terminal’ (VSAT) communications systems at Bauerfield, Pekoa, and Whitegrass International Airports;

(xi) provision of equipment for improved power supply for Bauerfield and Whitegrass International Airports;

(xii) provision and/or upgrading of fire safety equipment, including fire tender vehicles, and a fire tender shelter at Bauerfield and Whitegrass International Airports;

(xiii) provision of safety and security equipment, including x-ray machines for passenger baggage and cargo screening, at Bauerfield, Pekoa and Whitegrass International Airports; and.

(xiv) provision of design and supervision consulting services required for implementation of the infrastructure investments.

Component B: Aviation Sector Reform and Training. This component will help strengthen the Civil Aviation Authority of Vanuatu (CAAV), Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities (MIPU) and other line ministries’ technical capacity through targeted technical assistance to strengthen institutional capacity and dedicated training.

Specific activities include:

(i) development of an Aviation Sector Strategy;

(ii) provision of advisory services to assist the CAAV to: (a) review and update Vanuatu’s legislative framework applicable to the aviation sector; (b) address national and international regulatory requirements for the aviation sector; and (c) implement the Aviation Sector Strategy;

(iii) provision of advisory services to assist MIPU with its management and oversight of Vanuatu’s aviation sector; and,

(iv) training for capacity-building.

Component C: Strengthening Airport Operations and Management Capacity. This component will strengthen AVL’s airport operations and management capacity through:

(i) development of an Airport Master Plan;

(ii) provision of technical assistance to improve the planning, financial viability, efficiency, safety and security of airport operations; and,

(iii) training on aviation policy, operations and management.

Component D: Emergency Reconstruction. During project preparation Tropical Cyclone Pam (TC Pam) devastated Vanuatu, including damage to all three international airports. Damage assessments are still underway. This component is to provide support to the GoV with emergency reconstruction activities (yet to be identified) in the form of goods and works.


For news and updates for ongoing progress or completed activities relating to the project go to News

Specific detail on contract and financial status can be found at Contract Information