The Reopening of Fagali’I Airport

Fagali’I airport was beforehand owned and ran by the government of Samoa in partnership with Polynesian airline back when its airstrip was covered with grass. The airport was closed down and later reopened in 2002. On January 2005, it was withdrawn by the government and closed down once again due to the villager concerns for safety and the noise the airport produced. The airport underwent some renovations and constructions before Polynesian airlines reopened it as a public airport on July 1st, 2009 and international flights were introduced to Pago Pago, American, and Samoa. The Samoa Airport Authority is the owner and operator of the airport. The airport serves Apia which is the capital of Samoa, and it is the secondary airport after Apia Faleolo Airport. Its IATA code is FGI, and its ICAO code is NSF, and it is located in Fagali’I Utah in Samoa. There are four airlines that have operated in the airport. These include; Samoa Air, Polynesian Airlines, South Pacific Island Airways, and Talofa Airways. However, only Talofa Air and Polynesian airlines are currently operating at the airport. This is because the other two were closed down due to violations and breaching of Civil Aviation rules and regulations. Talofa Air was established in August 2016, and it operates flights within the Polynesian regions in both Faleolo and Fagali’I airports.

After reopening the Fagali’I airport, the Polynesian airline had over 30 flights scheduled for the Pago Pago route. According to Brent Schwenke, the local general manager for the Polynesian airline, flights were filling out very fast especially on the weekends and Fridays. The airport is mostly used for day-time flight services while the Faleolo International airport was to take overnight flights if there will be any required. Due to the village concerns about safety and the environmental impact the airport would bring, the Samoa Airport Authorities and The Pacific Aviation Office (PASO) conducted a civil safety inspection of the airport and approved the safety standards. Due to lack of enough space and short runways, planes from both SPEX and Interisland are not able to land at the airport; therefore, they were redirected to Faleolo Airport where there was enough runway for landing.

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