The Association of South Pacific Association – ASPA held its 65th General Session at the Holiday Inn Resort, Port Vila, Vanuatu, 12-13 October, 2016. The bi-annual conference was officially opened by the Prime Minister of Vanuatu, the Hon. Charlot Tabismasmas Salwai. The conference Theme, was “Succession Planning “.

In welcoming delegates to Vanuatu, the Prime Minister commended the work of the Association in providing the ideal forum for all stakeholders to come together to discuss and find solutions to the many challenges facing air transport in the region.

He added that air transport was so the economic and social development of the region that it was heartening to see the airlines coming together regularly, and supported by the Regional and International Community.

In his closing remarks, The ASPA Chairman, Mr Simon Foo, CEO of Air Niugini, expressed his deep appreciation to all the delegates and especially to the presenters and assured the delegates that ASPA would take on board the various recommendations and will report progress at the next conference.

During the Gala Dinner, delegates raised over VT700,000.00 through auctioning of prizes offered by the airlines and Flight GSE- New Zealand and Icelandair. Air Vanuatu nominated the Vanuatu Women Centre as the recipient of the proceeds.

Ms Merilyn Tahi, the co-ordinator of the Vanuatu Women’s Centre said, ‘Yes we received the proceeds from the raffles. We have yet to discuss what we will do with it, at this stage we don’t have much to say on that. But we know there is much we can do with it.’

The next conference will be held in Auckland, 01-02 May, 2017.