Little is known of Fagali’i Airport except what you can see when you fly in. Tucked away in a tropical paradise, surrounded by beautiful scenery and lush green vegetation, Fagali’i Airport is a site of beauty and of controversy.
Since its first documented opening Fagali’i Airport has been in the middle of much criticism, the once Samoan Government owned and grass only airstrip was paved and re- opened in 2002, only to be decommissioned in 2005 due to the locals concerns over safety and noise.
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During that time the airport was overgrown and nonfunctional, with many repairs needing to be made. According to dohop.com, after four years of pushing to get the airport back into working order, and a list of prospective buyers looking to purchase the airport and its land, the Polynesian Airlines finally succeeded and had the airstrip reopened in 2009, still to the disapproval of the surrounding villages. Upon reopening the Polynesian requested a committee be formed, the committee consisting of the Attorney General, MWTI, and the STA, along with members of the Polynesian airline company itself, came together to insure that there was nothing illegal about the airport being run and functioned by the Polynesian company according to wikipedia.org.
Still the local villagers continued to worry of the effect that the airport would have on their environment with vast majority of the area being farmland. Villagers voices concern over the burden that the airport would bring to them should it fail, due to the location of the airport only a five minute drive to the largest city in Samoa, busses and taxis are often serviced by locals and have provided a source of income in an otherwise poverty stricken area. Fagali’i Airport is listed as the second largest airport in Samoa and with the airport bringing tourist in daily, it is hard to argue the negatives about the small one building terminal and the effects that it may be having on the local environment and its population.
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