Honiara International Runway Upgrades Advance Swiftly in SIRAP2 Project
Upgrades to the Honiara International runway and airfield ground lighting as part of the Second Solomon Islands Roads and Aviation Project (SIRAP2) are progressing smoothly. The aviation component of SIRAP2 is being executed by the Ministry of Communication and Aviation (MCA) with support from the World Bank.
China Railway Construction Engineering Group has been contracted by MCA to carry out the works, with an anticipated completion date in March 2024. These upgrades will include new surfacing and lighting for the airport runway and its safety areas.
Milling work, involving grinding the existing asphalt surface to a specified depth of 15 mm, has been conducted along a segment of the runway. Aviation Consultancy Group personnel have meticulously cross-checked the milling to ensure compliance, and no cracks or potholes have been observed to date. Additionally, painting line marking activities have commenced during the night shift, covering the runway thresholds, center lines, and edge lines.
In conjunction with the runway resurfacing, the existing runway ground lighting will undergo an upgrade, incorporating energy-efficient approach lights. Most of the preparatory and layout work for the new lighting has been successfully completed.
Mckinnie Dentana, the Supervising Permanent Secretary of MCA, emphasized that these upgrades will extend the lifespan of Solomon Islands’ primary link to the world, enhancing safety, efficiency, and reliability for air travelers. Dentana stated, “These improvements to Solomon Islands major gateway will also provide benefits for tourism, fisheries, agriculture, health, and business”.
The Honiara International Airport runway upgrades are a vital component of the SBD1.1 billion Solomon Islands Roads and Aviation Project (SIRAP) and SIRAP2, both financially supported by the World Bank. MCA and the Ministry of Infrastructure Development are overseeing the implementation of these projects, aiming to fortify the country’s airports, enhance efficiency, promote climate resilience, and introduce significant upgrades to selected roads and bridges nationwide.
Other key investments under SIRAP and SIRAP2 include upgrades to Munda International Airport and Santa Cruz (Lata) Airfield. Furthermore, improvements are underway for seven bridges in Malaita, and roads in Noro, Western Province.