Five senators find explanation on airport project “insufficient”

  15 Aug 2017

Five senators are asking Minister of Public Infrastructure , Industries and Commerce Minister Charles Obichang for more information of a recently signed   multi-million dollar project to renovate the Palau International Airport between Palau and two Japanese companies. [restrict]

In a letter dated August 14 addressed to Obichang, Sens. Regis Akitaya, Camsek Chin, Rukebai Inabo,, J. Uduch Sengebau Senior and Mason Whipps, requested that the public be given an explanation to on why  the project is necessary by way of providing the feasibility study, copies of the joint venture and concession agreements.

Senators said that the explanation provided last week by Obichang through a talk on the radio is still “insufficient.”

“We appreciate your commitment to democracy and recognizing that the more Senate knows and understands about this project, the more likely can and support the airport terminal renovation project,” the letter stated.

The five senators are also awaiting Senate President Hokkons Baules response to a public hearing regarding the project before Congress tackle the loan agreement approval.

Palau, Sojitz Corporation and Japan Airport Terminal earlier signed the much anticipated joint venture agreement, beginning the process of the Palau International Airport terminal multimillion project.

The agreement will allow the renovation, expansion and operation of  the  Palau International Airport by a Sojitz Corporation and JATCO in a partnership with Palau government.

This agreement is the first  public-private partnership scheme in Palau.  region,

In an earlier feasibility study conducted by Sojitz and JATCO, the renovation and expansion of Palau Int’l Airport will cost approximately $31.413 million.

This cost includes expansion and renovation of terminal building, airport security screening equipment, baggage handling systems, airport special IT systems, new cargo terminal and car parking lot.

The study projects the number of visitor arrivals to reach 900,000 by year 2035 based on current travel trends and aircraft movements.

.According to the proposal, the private companies will seek financing for construction and improvement of the facility and there will be share management of the airport with clear demarcations between ROP and JV (joint venture partners).

Palau is said to be using the loan to build a new building that will house the improved terminal facility. [/restrict]