The Pacific Aviation Investment Program is financed by the World Bank and aims to improve aviation infrastructure, management and operations, helping make air travel to and from the Pacific Islands safer and more efficient. Greater flight access and improved travel conditions will help promote tourism and trade, also opening access to jobs, markets and services overseas.
Pacific Island countries are among the most remote in the world, with small populations dispersed across several islands, and vast expanses of ocean. Safe and efficient air travel is critical to connect them to each other and larger markets, including Australia, the United States and New Zealand, whilst also supporting tourism.
In the Pacific Island countries, many airports are in poor condition. Runways have deteriorated, and essential airport infrastructure such as navigation aids and ground support equipment need to be urgently upgraded. Improvements are needed to ensure air travel in the region meets minimum international safety requirements.
As part of this ongoing program Unit Export were awarded a contract to supply a number of Aircraft Passenger Boarding and Disembarking gangways to four airports in Samoa, Tonga and Tuvalu.
We identified a qualified manufacturer who could produce the ramps ensuring they met the requirements of the end users in accommodating the type and size of aircraft operated in the region. To guarantee reliable long term operation the units were fully galvanized and a package of spares parts supplied with each of the ramps.
To ensure compliance with the client’s requirements the ramps were inspected at the factory prior to shipment from the USA, they were then each loaded securely into 40’ containers and shipped across the Pacific where they were then offloaded onto feeder vessels for their final journey to each of the islands. Due to handling limitations in the port of Tuvalu one of the ramps was offloaded from the container and loaded onto a flat rack for shipment to Funafuti.
After delivery to each of the airports Unit Export arranged for an engineer to travel to each of the island nations and provide training in the operation of the ramps to ensure the ground handling staff were fully conversant with the safe operation and general maintenance of the equipment.