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Fagalii reopens making the trip to Apia shorter for Am Samoans

Samoa PM Fiame Naomi Mataʻafa

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Four years after the previous Samoa government deemed it unsafe, Fagalii Airport was reopened on Monday, just in time for use by American Samoans who plan to travel there for the country’s 61st Independence Day Celebration. 

In his keynote speech at the reopening, Minister of Ministry of Works, Transport and Infrastructure Olo Afoa Vaai said the reopening — which cost the Samoa government SAT$2.6 million — marked an objective of the government’s ‘Pathway for the Development of Samoa’, “enhancing and providing easy access for our people making sure that it meets the highest standards of safety and security.” 

This comes after plans to reopen the Fagalii met strong criticisms from opposition party leader and former Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, whose Administration shut the airport, claiming that the location was unsafe.

Olo assured that the first phase of rehabilitation of Fagalii Airport has met all requirements required under the Civil Aviation Rules and Regulations, to ensure the continued safe and efficient operations of the airport.

The second phase of this project will be to extend the runway and will enable Samoa to extend services to other Pacific destinations.

With the re-opening of Fagali'i, Olo is optimistic that it will benefit not only the travelling people between Savai'i, Upolu, and American Samoa but also boost the economy of the country with flights bringing in more people to Samoa. It will also provide employment opportunities for the people of Fagali'i and help small businesses next to the airport.

Samoa Airways is now using the airport, and Talofa Airways said it planned to begin flying into Fagalii in July.


Fagalii was originally constructed in 1969, with the first commercial flights commencing in April, 1970. It was closed in January 2005 when Polynesian Airlines was no longer using suitable aircrafts to service Fagalii Airport. Four years later, it was reopened by Polynesian Airlines on 1 July 2009, however, it was shut down again on 31 December 2019.