Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Kosrae International Airport's Aircraft Rescue & Firefighting (ARFF) Facility Dedication

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Dept. of TC&I): September 8, 2009 - On September 4, 2009, the FSM National Government and Kosrae State Government celebrated the successful completion of Kosrae International Airport's Aircraft Rescue & Firefighting Facility.

This is the first completed ARFF facility in the FSM and second to be completed in Micronesia. The project construction duration was supposed to take 365 calendar days for $5.8 million but took 561 calendar days for $6.3 million.

Mr. Halbert introduced the contents of the project which included the newly constructed state-of-the-art aircraft rescue & firefighting facility, two new 1500 gallon Oshkosh Firefighting Vehicles, fully stocked medical cart, new firefighting protective gears, spare parts, tools and new communications radios.

In the turn-over keynote speech, Vice President Alik, praised the successful completion of the facility and the acquisition of the new vehicles, tools, radios and other equipment. He also praised and thanked the people of Kosrae and the Government for their support of the AIP program in their time of financial hardship. He also thanked the FAA Western Pacific Region's Mr. Ron Simpson and Mr. Barry Brayer who are advocates of FSM in Washington DC and Los Angeles. With their voices, the Micronesian airports became eligible for AIP funds since 2004 which this project is funded under. Vice President Alik also highlighted the 40 employment opportunities that this project provided along with the boost to the local economy. He also announced that there are more airport improvement projects on the way such as the installation of the security perimeter fencing, electrical upgrade and runway rehabilitation projects which he believes will continue to help improve the local economy and provide more employment opportunities.

In Governor Weilbacher's remark, he proudly accepted the facility, vehicles, and other equipment on behalf of the people of Kosrae. He thanked the FSM National Government for the successful project. He also thanked the Contractor - Black Micro Construction, the Designer/Construction Manager - GMP, the Project Administrator - LYON Associates, who under difficult circumstances, managed to successfully completed the project.

First Lady Josepha Weilbacher and Second Lady Shra Alik did the honors of cutting the ribbon signifying the opening of the facility for operation followed by a tour of the facility by the Dignitaries.

The Turn-over/Ribbon Cutting ceremony was attended by FSM Vice President, The Honorable Alik Alik and Mrs. Alik, Kosrae State Governor, the Honorable Robert Weilbacher and First lady Weilbacher, Kosrae State Lt. Governor, the Honorable William Tosie, Kosrae State Legislature Speaker, the Honorable Lyndon Jackson, FSM Secretary of the Dept. of Transportation, Communications & Infrastructure, the Honorable Francis Itimai, FSM AIP Project Manager, Mr. Massy Halbert, FSM National Weather Service Director, Mr. Eden Skilling, Contractor (Black Micro Construction)represented by Special Projects Manager, Mr. Don McCann, Project Manager Elmer Mercader and other employees of the Company, Construction Management (GMP Hawaii) represented by Area Project Manager Mr. Lukner Weilbacher, Site Inspectors Carmelo Soriano and George Youngstrom, Project Administration (LYON Associates) represented by Senior Engineer Dr. Mao Peng and Civil Engineer Melody Tuano and Management, Board and Employees of the Kosrae Port Authority.

For more information on this facility or the FSM AIP projects, please contact FSMDTC&I's AIP office at 320-1422.

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356