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Tongan Sky
National Transport Research OrganisationMay 9, 2024 1:01:52 PM1 min read

Work Underway in the Pacific

NTRO's Strategic Transport Infrastructure Advisory Program (STIAP) in Tonga is progressing successfully through its initial phase of assessments and site inspections across the Pacific Island nation.  

Over recent weeks, NTRO delegations have undertaken a range of on-the-ground activities to baseline the current state of infrastructure assets. Our Sustainable Materials & Performance Teams and Asset Performance & Management Teams conducted comprehensive inspections at multiple quarries, processing plants, the main seaport on Tonga’tapu island, two international airports, one domestic airport, harbour facilities, and road networks spanning both Tonga’tapu and Vava'u islands. These rigorous site assessments provide crucial data to guide future enhancement strategies.  

port tonga

In parallel to the inspections, NTRO personnel are collaborating closely with Tonga's Ministry of Infrastructure (MOI) to design the layout and requirements for a new infrastructure materials laboratory and innovation centre. Once established, this facility will empower locally-led research and materials testing to support sustainable transport solutions tailored for Tonga.  

Currently deployed in Tonga this week is an NTRO delegation specializing in Bridges & Structures as part of the STIAP program's scope. Their technical expertise will help evaluate existing bridges/structures to determine rehabilitation and strengthening needs. NTRO is also mobilizing specialized Infrastructure Measurement vehicles to Tonga in the coming weeks. These state-of-the-art vehicles will capture highly accurate data on road conditions and airport pavement across the islands to assist with the assessments.  

Importantly, the STIAP initiative is benefiting from productive cooperation and strong working relationships between NTRO teams and Ministry of Infrastructure staff in Tonga. Jason Sprott, NTRO’s Executive Director, Ports and Airports comments:

"I am delighted with how the project is progressing. We have an incredible working relationship with the Ministry of Infrastructure staff - who have been fantastic in showing us a range of infrastructure issues across road, airport and port areas. It truly is a special place to work."

TOnga table-1

This spirit of partnership and trust is vital for achieving positive, locally-relevant outcomes to strengthen Tonga's multi-modal transport networks.  

Keep an eye on this space as things progress!