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US Chargé d’Affaires visit TL’s President Nicolau Lobato International Airport

US Chargé d’Affaires visit TL’s President Nicolau Lobato International Airport

US Chargé d’Affaires visit TL’s President Nicolau Lobato International Airport. Tatoli's image//Francisco Sony

DILI, 11 april 2022 (TATOLI) – The US Chargé d’Affaires, Thomas Daley, accompanied by the Minister of Defense, Filomeno da Paixão de Jesus, and Minister of Transport and Communications, José Agustinho da Silva, visited the Nicolau Lobato International Airport in Dili, to observe the current condition of the airport.

Daley said the visit aimed to observe the real condition of the airport to see what the US could support to make any improvements.

“I am very happy this morning to come to visit the President Nicolau Lobato International Airport to see its current Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT), the fire station, and the airport facilities,” Deley told reporters at the President Nicolau Lobato International Airport, in Dili, today.

He said his party will look forward to working with the government of Timor-Leste to see what they could do to help Timor-Leste with the many needs the airport staff had expressed to them.

“We have to see what we can do and we will get back to them about what we are able to help them. I understand that the expansion project of the airport is already going to take place and we don’t want to do anything that is going to interfere with that,” he said.

At the same place, Minister of Transport and Communications, José Agustinho da Silva said that: “Today, the airport staff have presented the real condition of the airport to the US Chargé d’Affaires, especially about the effect of the regular power cut at this airport. In addition, they also informed him about the condition of the fire station at the airport.”

Silva said the preparation process for the expansion of the airport was underway: “The Inter-Ministerial Commission is currently preparing and doing all the technical works for the reconstruction of the airport. Once they complete all the technical preparation, then we will proceed with the announcement of the public tender for the expansion of the airport.”

He said the budget for the expansion project is made up of US$30 allocated by the government of Timor-Leste, US$ 42 million from the Government of Japan, and US$ 130 from the Asian Development Bank (ADB): “The Australian government will also support us with financial support for the expansion of airport.”

The project will improve facilities at Presidente Nicolau Lobato International Airport (PNLIA) in Dili, the main gateway airport to Timor-Leste, with the extension of the airport runway to meet international safety standards and the construction of a new air traffic control tower (ATCT), taxiways, aprons, and an aeronautical ground lighting system to support the upgraded runway.

“The Presidente Nicolau Lobato International Airport (PNLIA) has a runway of 1.850 meters (m) in length with a pavement width of 30m. It is planned to increase the runway of the airport up to 2.100 in length and with a pavement width of 400 meters,” Silva explained.

Journalist: Filomeno Martins

Editor: Rafy Belo

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