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Fagali’i Airport to re-open next week

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA 24 MAY 2023: The Fagalii Airport looks set to reopen next Monday, 29 May for inter-island flights between Samoa and American Samoa and deliver the FAST Government’s election promise to reopen the popular commercial route.

Work to upgrade the airstrip and the arrival and departure facilities proceeded after negotiations between the Government and the Alii ma Faipule of Fagali’i village.

The airport has been closed in 2025 then reopened in 2009 then closed again in 2020 under past HRPP governments quoting the safety of the airstrip and residents as the reason for shutting down.

Moving all flights to American Samoa to operate from Faleolo Airport had been inconvenient to frequent travelers and a major cost in time, especially the business people.

The shut down since 2020 also spelt the close of businesses that had thrived and operated in the airport area. The facility was later used for some Police operations including a driving school range and holding place for drunk drivers.

During the 2021 election campaign, the FAST Party promised to reopen the Fagalii Airport given the many requests from the public and businesses of the convenience and viability of the airports location.

Early this year, the Member of Parliament for Vaimauga No 1 district where the airport is located, Sulamanaia Tauiliili, acknowledged the move by the Government to reopen the airport, and urged the Government to utilise the people and facilities of his district to cater for the airport.

He acknowledged the opportunities for employment and economic development for his district.

The HRPP leader however continues to oppose the reopening of the airport.