Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

N.Z suspends Tonga aid over Chinese plane fears
by Staff Writers
Wellington (AFP) July 10, 2013

New Zealand said Wednesday it had suspended a multi-million dollar aid programme in Tonga over safety concerns stemming from the Pacific nation's plans to use a Chinese-made plane for domestic services.

There were concerns about the safety certification for the MA60 aircraft and a NZ$10.5 million (US$8.2 million) tourism development programme was on hold until they were resolved, a spokeswoman for Foreign Minister Murray McCully said.

"I can confirm that the programme has been suspended," she told AFP.

The MA60 turboprop, built by China's AVIC Xian Aircraft Industry Company, has been the subject of a number of safety scares in recent months.

Myanmar grounded its MA60 fleet in June after two incidents where aircraft skidded off runways, while Indonesia ordered special checks on its fleet after one crash-landed in the country's east.

No one was seriously injured in those accidents, but 25 people died in May 2011 when an MA60 operated by Indonesia's Merpati crashed in West Papua province.

The Tongan MA60 is a gift from the Chinese government and arrived in the island nation last weekend.

The government intends to lease it to a new airline called Real Tonga, set up to service popular tourist destinations in the outer islands after New Zealand-based operator Chathams Pacific withdrew earlier this year.

The Matangi Tonga news website reported that the government had promised the aircraft would not be allowed to fly until it fully complied with international aviation standards.

New Zealand is one of Tonga's main aid donors, although China has played an increasing role in recent years, with much of its assistance coming through so-called "soft loans" that have a five-year interest-free period.


Related Links
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Satellites See Ups and Downs of Two Tropical Eastern Pacific Systems
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Jul 08, 2013
There are two tropical cyclones in the Eastern Pacific Ocean on July 5 and one is powering up and one is powering down. NOAA's GOES-15 satellite captured Tropical Depression Dalila and Tropical Storm Erick, both off the western coast of Mexico. Because Erick is strengthening and is close to the coast, tropical storm warnings have gone into effect for Mexico. Tropical Depression Dalila has ... read more

Scientist says Earth may once have been orbited by two moons

Dust hazard for Moon missions: scientists

NASA Seeks Information on Commercial Robotic Lunar Lander Capabilities

Orbiting astronaut controls robot on Earth, testing feasibility of CU-Boulder project on far side of the moon

Is Mars mission Indian rocket's silver jubilee flight?

NASA's next Mars rover will advance hunt for past life

Opportunity's Improbable Anniversary

Dry run for the 2020 Mars Mission

Space seeds could "benefit" traditional Chinese medicines

Kennedy Facilities Key to NASA's Transition

Voyager 1 Explores Final Frontier Of Our Solar Bubble

NASA's Voyager 1 approaches outer limit of solar system

China's space tracking ship Yuanwang-5 berths at Jakarta for replenishment

China plans to launch Tiangong-2 space lab around 2015

Twilight for Tiangong

China calls for international cooperation in manned space program

Station Astronauts Complete First of Two July Spacewalks

Russia to go ahead with space freighter launch

ISS technology to 'hear' potential leaks

Russian cosmonauts conduct space station tasks in spacewalk

Two Rockets Launched From Wallops

Specialists unrelated to Khrunichev to check Proton-M rocket production

Proton Rocket to Stay in Demand Despite Accidents

Premature launch said likely cause of Russian rocket failure

Hubble Telescope reveals variation between hot extrasolar planet atmospheres

UCSB Astronomer Uncovers The Hidden Identity Of An Exoplanet

Gas-Giant Exoplanets Cling Close to Their Parent Stars

Astronomers Detect Three 'Super-Earths' in Nearby Star's Habitable Zone

Increasing the Speed of Deep Space Communications

Molecular chains hypersensitive to magnetic fields

New Metallic Bubble Wrap Offers Big Benefits Over Other Protective Materials

Inscription found on fragment in Israel said earliest ever found

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement