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The Fagali Airport founded in 1959, served as a base airport for the United States Air Force during World War II. It has a single landing strip made of grass so it was made for small commuter planes and private charter flights. However, over the years the Polynesian Airlines took over the airport, making it accommodating for tourism. After 2003, the airport was paved with asphalt and service resumed after being shut down in 2002. But, the drama started again when the local communities complained about possible safety issues, loud noises, and environmental pollution that got the airport shut down again in January 2005. Four years later, on January 1st, 2009, Polynesian Airlines along with the Samoan government renovated the airport and put in new safety regulations that allowed the airport to reopen.
You can now enjoy the Fagali area in full, a small town with 1,571 people next to Apia on Upolu Island. The airport has flights on Samoa Airways and Talofa Airways that go to Pago Pago on American Samoa and Tongatapu on Tonga. Each airline operates twin-engine planes fitting up to 9 passengers with a weight limit, which is why officials at the airport weigh passengers so the limits are not exceeded.
The Pago Pago flight is only 30 minutes and the Tongatapu is about 1 hour and 50 minutes. The destinations often change depending on the desirability and airline service implemented. The more people who want to come to Fagali, the more flights get added. That is why Fagali Airport has about 10 flights per day going to and from Pago Pago, but only two flights per week going to and from Tongatapu.
Tourists can talk to the hotel staff, cabbies, or bus operators about flight times. This information is also found on the Talofa Airways website. There is a Polynesian Airlines ticketing counter for travel information where you could get the schedule as well. Always make sure to arrive at the airport at least 45 minutes before departure time.
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