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Tanna Airport launch of the Airfield Ground Lighting Project during Tafea Province 40th Anniversary celebrations

October 11, 2021 Airport No Comments
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Airports Vanuatu Ltd, as the proud owner and operator of Tanna Airport, yesterday launched Tanna Airport’s upcoming Airfield Ground Lighting Project. The event took place during celebrations of the 40th anniversary of Tafea Province.

Tanna Airport’s solar airfield lighting project brings significant benefits to people of Tafea

Tanna Airport today launched its Airfield Ground Lighting project, which will provide lighting for the airfield, extending the hours of operation for flights. The lighting will be solar powered and the project will be completed with funding support sourced from the Government of Vanuatu’s Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Utilities.

Air access is critical for remote provinces such as Tafea, where Tanna Airport acts as the hub to the region, linking our nation’s capital in Port Vila to Tanna and the outer island communities of Aneityum, Futuna, Erromango, and Aniwa.

Jason Rakau, CEO of AVL commented, “It gives me huge pleasure to be here on Tanna to share with the community the launch of Tanna Airport’s Airfield Ground Lighting Project, particularly as part of the 40th anniversary celebrations of Tafea Province. I’d like to thank the Ministry for Infrastructure and Public Utilities for funding this initiative, which will make a significant difference in the lives of Tafea’s residents.

  • Socially, access to air services will be extended with the extra hours of operation beyond daylight. When there’s a health emergency and a medivac flight is required, we will no longer be limited to daylight operations only.
  • Economically, the extension to evening and night-time flying will be a significant boost to tourism. Tourists have long enjoyed visiting the province and experiencing the majesty of Mt Yasur as the night falls. Now flights returning to Port Vila will be able to depart later into the evening, to truly experience the volcano at its best, in the twilight and at night.

Tourism makes a huge contribution to the economy of Tafea province and this innovation will provide a stimulus to domestic visitors to visit the region and contribute to Vanuatu Tourism Office’s Sapotem Lokol Turisim campaign, while we wait for our borders to reopen and welcome back international visitors”.

Tanna Airport’s solar airfield lighting project brings significant benefits to the airport

Tanna Airport’s solar airfield lighting project is of huge operational significance to our airline partners, airport users, the community, and the province. Beyond the operational impacts, the project has sustainability at its core, in its use of solar. Airports Vanuatu conducted a thorough review of lighting options and selected the solar option as the optimum solution for Tanna Airport. The decision is in line with AVL’s commitment to reduce its carbon footprint and support the global aviation community in achieving its goals of reducing its environmental impact. AVL aims to achieve this through participation in the Airports Council International (ACI) Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) programme, which guides airports through stages of actively reducing their carbon footprint through various initiatives.

Edward Natuoivi, Airport Manager of Tanna Airport commented, “The solar technology is proven, operates well in other similar locations and is ideally suited to the open location and sunshine we enjoy here on Tanna. The installation is relatively straightforward, requiring minimal preparation with no cabling and trenching and also has increased flexibility for future airport expansion. The system of lights is linked wirelessly and controlled by the aircraft approaching the runway and the airfield operator. Ultimately the greatest benefit is the sustainability of solar as a power source, in that ongoing operating costs are minimised. This project will be a landmark investment in the airport and deliver long term benefits to our users and our community”.

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