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Page 12 • AirCArgo AsiA-PACifiC • JUNE-JULY 2016 Airways NZ wins Faleolo systems deal AIRWAYS New Zealand has been award- ed a major World Bank-funded contract by the Samoa Airport Authority to assist with the upgrade of air traffic man- agement systems and infrastructure at Faleolo International Airport. The World Bank is funding a US$25 million package of upgrades at the airfield under its Pacific Aviation In- vestment Program (PAIP). The regional project will increase aviation safety and security across the Pacific by devel- oping key airport infrastructure and operations. Under the deal, Airways will consult on the design and procurement of air navigation aids, air traffic control equip- ment and airfield ground lighting sys- tems for the airport, which is the main gateway to Samoa and its surrounding islands. The New Zealand state-owned enterprise will also project-manage the installation of the new systems. The award of this contract builds on the extensive work Airways is already undertaking across the Pacific, said Airways chief operating officer Pauline Lamb. “A significant element of Airways’ involvement with the Pacific is its joint agreement with Tonga, Samoa, Niue and the Cook Islands to manage the states’ upper airspace. Other services Airways provides throughout the Pacific include engineering and maintenance, flight inspection of navigation aids and flight procedures along with technical and air traffic control training.” This latest contract is the second Airways has been awarded under PAIP. Airways is also helping to extend the PASNet network – an aviation-specific satellite communication system for the Pacific. “PASNet will ultimately link air traffic organisations in eight Pacific states with a more robust and reliable voice and data connection. Work to install ground stations in Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu and Kir- ibati will begin this month,” added Lamb. Low value import duty being pondered in NZ NZ Customs minister Nicky Wagner NZ Customs has not yet decided on the most efficient – and acceptable to consumers and the freight trade – means of taxing low-value imports. The government has proposed low- ering the threshold at which duty is col- lected but the whole concept remains controversial. Controversy hasn’t deterred Cus- toms from working towards a proposal which will be open to consultation before possible amendment and imple- mentation. Customs minister Nicky Wagner also said the threshold could be lowered from the 2018/2019 financial year. “The volume of low value goods im- ports has grown by about 14 per cent per annum and is expected to double over the next five years. Customs does not currently collect GST and tariff duty if the total tax owed is under $60. “The current NZ$60 threshold benefits on-line buyers, but is unfair on our local retailers who pay tariff duty and GST on their bulk shipments. The government acknowledges that a lower threshold would help to level the playing field, but there’s no quick or easy solution,” the minister pointed out. “Customs has carried out extensive work and consultation over the past year but needs to look into more detail around what some of the collection mechanism options could look like and what the border transaction fees might be.” Wagner commented that “while that would be fairer and help to protect the integrity of our GST system, it would not be appropriate to propose any changes in the short term without appreciating its impact on industry and consumers. “By lowering the threshold too soon, there is a risk that goods be held up at the border needlessly and that col- lection costs would exceed revenue gained.” Cargo Air adds two 737 BCFs EUROPEAN cargo airline Cargo Air has ordered two 737-800 Boeing Con- verted Freighters (BCF). Cargo Air, a charter and Aircraft Crew Maintenance Insurance (ACMI) provider, currently operates a fleet of seven B 737 Classic converted freight- ers. It currently contracts its freight- er fleet to several major European integrators.