HMICTTD Opening Speech for New Bonriki International Airport
HE TE BERETITENTI TANETI MAMAU AND MADAME TEIRANG MAMAU
HON SPEAKER MR TEBUAI UAAI AND MRS UAAI
HON CHIEF JUSTICE SIR JOHN MURIA AND LADY ROSE MURIA
CHAIRMAN OF THE PSC MRS TERAMWEAI ITINRAOI AND MR KEARIKI
FELLOW COLLEAGUE MINISTERS AND YOUR GOOD WIVES
MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT AND YOUR SPOUSES
MEMBERS OF THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS
SECRETARIES AND YOUR GOOD WIVES
REPRESENTATIVE OF THE WORLD BANK AND ADB
REPRESENTATIVE OF OUR CHURCHES
LADIES AND GENTLEMAN
KAM BANE N MAURI
It gives me great pleasure to warmly welcome you all and to give a few remarks on this important occasion to mark the opening of our new Bonriki international airport terminal.
For many years, the citizens of Kiribati, tourists and visitors suffered with cramped and often uncomfortable conditions when flying to and from bonriki. The visitors first and last impression of Kiribati is important and we all understand that it starts and end at the terminal. The modern facilities and airport surroundings you all witness today are essential element to those foreign travellers' good but last impressions of Kiribati.
Ladies and Gentleman, those challenging days are now over with the generosity and assistance of donors and the world bank (KAIP) who have invested in this important terminal project. The building before us today represents a step forward for the travelling public, our national airline and flag carrier, charter operators and the tourism industry. Our domestic flight and passengers service is also enhanced through this terminal improvement projects.
Distinguish, my ministry is pleased to have been able to oversee the development of much needed facilities at this airport and at our other international airport, Cassidy on Kiritimati. It is also important to note that complimentary to the terminal building is the addition of navigation aids provided at both airports under the World Bank/KAIP arrangements. The government, on the other hand, has funded runway and taxiway lighting and navigation equipment here at Bonriki to enhance the safety of aircraft using the airport.
Distinguish guests, ladies and gentlemen, the new terminal has also provided much better and more efficient areas to house the security screening equipment and processes. those facilities will be significantly improved later this year thanks to the generosity of the New Zealand government. Equally important to note is access to more trolleys by passengers provided by our friends the government and the people of Taiwan.
Having said that, it is unfortunate to note that the facilities and systems provided under the KAIP by the world bank are, in some respect, less than optimal and that we still have to wait for rework on the major project of theBonriki runway and apron due to inadequate supervision allowing use of materials not suited to our salty condition. The fact that Kiribati have the most abundance sunlight, the use of cost-effective solar power in the initial planning stage for both terminals in Cassidy and Bonriki should have been considered.
However, the lesson to be learnt from the shortfalls in the Terminal KAIP project here at the airport is a critical consideration for future projects. On this note, it is important for our development partners and donors to understand the true requirements of the recipient country to ensure best value for money and fit for purpose.
Laides and gentlemen, the development of the airport and the terminal is an evolving process due to dynamic changes in regulatory and operational requirements hence the Airport Authority will continue to seek and work with our development partners and donors to support and realize these future undertakings.
Before I conclude my remarks, let me again reiterate my sincere appreciation and gratitude to our donors for the project, and all who have lend a hand and contribute in one way or the other to make the terminal project comes to its fruition.
With these few words, it is my pleasure to formally declare the Bonriki international airport terminal building open and operational with our Kiribati Traditional blessing of te Mauri, te Raoi ao te Tabomoa.
Kam bati n rabwa.
SOME PHOTOS OF THE OPENING CEREMONY