Upgrading of the Santa Cruz (Lata) Airfield, worth an estimated SBD 117 million, is set to commence soon through the Second Solomon Islands Roads and Aviation Project (SIRAP2). These works under SIRAP2 are being implemented by the Ministry of Communication and Aviation (MCA), with financing from the World Bank.
MCA is currently inviting bids from eligible bidders for the 1,210-metre-long Santa Cruz Airfield runway pavement, in Temotu Province. Bidding will be conducted through international competitive procurement using Request for Bids as specified in the World Bank’s Procurement Regulations. Bidding is currently open and closes 10 a.m. (Solomon Islands time) 20th February 2024 (*see below for further details).
The upgrade is vital as the 645-kilometre distance from Honiara means it can be difficult for aircraft to return from Santa Cruz if there are adverse weather conditions or mechanical issues. Currently, the runway in Santa Cruz is topsoiled and often saturated with standing water. Without a proper pavement and drainage system, the runway is easily flooded, which damages the runway and makes landing and takeoff difficult. The northern end of the runway is also exposed to increasing wind driven ocean swells.
To adapt to these climate risks, SIRAP2 will upgrade the airfield’s seawall, bituminous seal the runway, and improve the taxiway airfield drainage. The upgrade will improve wet weather operations and safety for Dash 8 aircraft.
Supervising Permanent Secretary in MCA, Mckinnie Dentana, said the improvements will also save passengers time and lower costs. It should also lead to reductions in travel time and reduce delays related to service disruption. Further, passenger numbers are expected to increase once construction is completed.
SIRAP2 is also constructing four new bridges in Malaita (Kolofe1, Kolofe2, Su’u Harbor, and Bira Bridges), upgrading roads in Noro, providing upgrades to Honiara International Airport and Munda International Airport, providing investments in air navigation systems in Makira-Ulawa and Temotu Provinces, and supporting regional airport maintenance.
*Interested and eligible Bidders may obtain further information by contacting the SIRAP2 procurement team at: