14 September, 2017. New Zealand High Commissioner to Tonga, Sarah Walsh, handed over new x-ray and radio communications equipment to Tonga Airports Limited staff at Fua’amotu airport today.
The x-ray equipment was jointly funded by New Zealand and Tonga. It replaces the old x-ray system New Zealand provided in 2006 which has come to the end of its life.
New Zealand is providing NZ$11.5 million in new funding for aviation security equipment and training in the Pacific over the next five years.
This builds on New Zealand’s existing NZ$2.5 million programme to help Pacific island countries meet their international aviation regulatory obligations.
The support will be implemented by the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand, in cooperation with the Pacific Aviation Safety Office.
Tonga will receive around NZ$800,000 of the new funding.
This funding will be used to provide another six x-ray machines for Fua’amotu and Vava’u international airports, as well as walk-through metal detectors and devices to detect traces of explosives.
The funding will also cover servicing and maintenance for the new equipment.
“New Zealand’s assistance means staff at Tonga Airports Limited will be better equipped to maintain national and international aviation security standards”, said Ms Walsh.
“The safety of the travelling public in the region is important to New Zealand. The new screening equipment means that the standards you find at Auckland International Airport will also be found here in Tonga”.
New Zealand’s new aviation security package is being provided to signatories of the Pacific Islands Civil Aviation Safety and Security Treaty, which include Niue, the Cook Islands, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Solomon Islands, Samoa and Nauru, as well as Tonga.