This momentous occasion was graced by the presence of distinguished guests such as Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare and Minister of Communication and Aviation Peter Shanel Agovaka. SMEC played a pivotal role in the project, providing comprehensive construction management services which enabled it to oversee and ensure the successful completion of the terminal.
The newly upgraded Munda airport is now fully capable of handling Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 aircraft, facilitating international flights and significantly enhancing the regional aviation sector. This transformation is part of the Solomon Islands Roads and Aviation Project (SIRAP), an initiative focused on improving aviation infrastructure and road networks in the region. SIRAP is funded by the World Bank under the Pacific Aviation Investment Program (PAIP), aiming to enhance aviation safety, efficiency, security, environmental sustainability, and harmonisation of aviation safety standards across the region.
SMEC’s involvement in SIRAP commenced with design and procurement support. Initially providing design services under Phase 1 and technical support services during civil works bidding under Phase 2, SMEC served as the Engineer to Contract in Phase 3. This role involved overseeing critical civil works contracts including, a) the new Munda Airport terminal building, and b) Munda Airport runway, taxiway, and apron overlay.
Under SIRAP, SMEC is also actively engaged in the ongoing upgrade of three bridges (Bio 1, Bio 2, and Koa Bridges) on the Auki-Dala Road section in Malaita Province. This is in conjunction with routine maintenance and re-gravelling of the Malaita main road network, incorporating climate resilience and road safety improvements.
SMEC’s commitment to this crucial transport infrastructure project reflects its dedication to enhancing connectivity and ensuring traveler safety in the Solomon Islands. SMEC services are targeted for completion by the end of 2024.