Palau International Airport Terminal now fully open:Utilizing Japan's expertise in airport operations to help develop Palau's tourism industry
On May 8, the new Palau International Airport Terminal, constructed through the "Renovation, Expansion, and Management of Palau International Airport Project" (Private Sector Investment Finance), was fully opened in Koror City, Republic of Palau. The opening ceremony was attended by President Surangel S. Whipps Jr. from the Palau side, Foreign Minister HAYASHI Yoshimasa and JICA Senior Vice President YAMANAKA Shinichi from the Japanese side.
The opening ceremony
The existing terminal building at Palau International Airport was constructed in 2003 with grant aid from JICA and has been in use for about 20 years, but with the increase in the number of tourists, there was a need to overhaul the airport’s facilities and functions. To address these issues, this project saw the construction of a new departure terminal building and renovation of the existing terminal building, now to be used exclusively for arrivals, while introducing Japan's excellent airport operation and maintenance management technologies. This is the largest infrastructure development project in Palau and the first public-private partnership (PPP) project in a Pacific Island country, ever supported by Japan.
This project relied upon the extensive knowledge and aviation industry network of Sojitz Corporation, the expertise of Japan Airport Terminal Co., Ltd. (JATCO) in the operation of Haneda Airport, and support from the Japan Overseas Infrastructure Investment Corporation for Transport & Urban Development (JOIN). The airport expansion and renovation work were carried out by Taisei Corporation, the contractor for the project. The all-Japan team, including JICA, has worked together with the government of Palau to overcome the many challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the airport is now fully open for business. The airport’s operations will continue to rely on Japanese expertise.
Palau International Airport is expected to play an important role in the country's economic growth as a gateway for people and goods to this island nation, where tourism is a key industry. JICA will continue to work together with Palau to achieve sustainable economic growth and stable social development.