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This section outlines official Press and Media Statements issued by the Ministry of Information and Communications in addition to Press Releases from the Prime Minister's Office and other Government Ministries and Departments.

Fua’amotu International Airport received new aviation security equipment

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19th September, 2017 The New Zealand High Commissioner to Tonga Her Excellency, Ms. Sarah Walsh handed-over a new x-ray machine and sets of radio communications equipment to Tonga Airports Limited last week at Fua’amotu International Airport.

The new equipment will replace the old x-ray system donated by New Zealand in 2006.

H.E. Walsh said the safety of aviation is important to New Zealand and Tonga, and the safety standard that people will find at Auckland International Airport will also be found here in Tonga, through this new screening equipment.

She added that over the past 12 years, the New Zealand Government has been working in partnership with Tonga to ensure we have a robust aviation security that protects the public traveling between the two countries and across the region.

“Risks to our borders and to the traveling public are constantly changing and becoming increasingly complex to manage. Traveling members of the public have a right to be protected and indeed expect to be protected.”

She said that New Zealand will also provide NZ $11.5 million for aviation security equipment and training in the Pacific over the next five years and Tonga will receive around NZ$800,000 of the new funding. The 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.

Ms. Walsh stated the assistance also includes maintenance of the equipment, and training on security processes from New Zealand’s Civil Aviation Authority.

“All of this support means staff at Tonga Airports Limited are better equipped to do their job. The assistance will help Tonga to meet international aviation security standards and gives the safety assurance that the traveling parties expects and needs.”

Chief Supervisor Ms. Malia Taufa, says this machine will ensure the safety of both passengers and the country as a whole because everything will be well-screened by this machine. She also demonstrated how the machine will work.

Chairman of the Board Mr. Steve Edwards thanked the New Zealand Government on behalf of the Board and Directors of Tonga Airports Limited for their great assistance.

The ceremony and the equipment was blessed by the Chief of Domestic Airports Rev. Kinitoni Mafi. The x-ray equipment was jointly funded by New Zealand and Tonga with a total cost NZ$151,000 where Tonga contributed NZ$66,000.


Issued by the: Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change & Communications.

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