A New Terminal Building Opens at Palau International Airport


On 17 December 2021, “Soft-opening Ceremony for Renovation, Expansion and Management Project of Palau International Airport” was held at Palau International Airport in Airai State. The ceremony was attended by His Excellency President Whipps, Paramount High Chief Reklai, Vice President Hon. Sengebau Senior, Senates and Delegates, Minister of Public Infrastructure and Industries Hon. Obichang, Ambassador Karasawa, CEO of PIAC Mr. Yoshida, JICA Chief Representative Mr. Kobayashi and many guests.
The existing airport terminal building was built by Japan’s Grant Aid worth 16 million USD in 2003, and has been used with care for 20 years. However, there was an urgent need to expand and renovate the facilities. In response to these challenges, Japan has decided to renovate the existing terminal for arrivals and build a new terminal for departures as well as operate, manage and maintain the airport by utilizing Japan’s expertise in airport management.
This project is the first public-private partnership (PPP) not only in Palau but also in the whole Pacific region. The total project cost is around 40 million USD, which is covered by cash investment from JOIN, Sojiz and JATCO as well as private sector investment finance from JICA, in cooperation with a Japanese contractor, Taisei Corporation. This is the largest Japan’s infrastructure development project ever in Palau.
After the completion of the new terminal building, Palau International Airport Company will continue renovations in the existing terminal building, aiming to hold a grand opening ceremony at the end of January 2022, before Palau will host the 7th Our Ocean Conference in February 2022.
In the ceremony, Ambassador Karasawa stated, “This project symbolizes one of the three pillars of the ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific’, the pursuit of economic prosperity and the improvement of connectivity. This is the typical showcase of Japan’s renowned high-quality infrastructure development.” President Whipps expressed his gratitude to Japan and said, “I look forward to having the grand opening ceremony next year.”