Silimanai Ueta Banse Jr. Solomona appointed as General Manager for PASO

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The Council of the Pacific Aviation Safety Office (PASO) has announced the three-year appointment of Mr. Silimanai Ueta Banse Jr. Solomona as the next PASO General Manager starting in January 2024 following an extensive international recruitment process.
Mr. Solomona is the current General Manager of Samoa Airport Authority and brings over thirty years of civil aviation operations and senior management experience in Samoa and Fiji, including as a pilot, air traffic controller, and aerodromes specialist.
Welcoming the appointment, PASO Council Chairperson Mr. Fui Mau Tupai Simanu said, “We are very pleased to have Ueta onboard as PASO’s new General Manager. We look forward to working together for the benefit of our Members and our Blue Pacific region.”
“Ueta is particularly well-placed to lead our regional aviation organisation and brings an important perspective as a Pacific Islander with his extensive civil aviation background.”
“He has a proven record of exemplary leadership with the Samoa Airport Authority for over twenty-three years, including his operational experience as a client of PASO’ regulatory services and supporting Samoa’s recent positive International Civil Aviation Organization security audit (USAP-CMA),” said Mr. Simanu.
“Additionally, Ueta’s strategic oversight of the US$41 million World Bank funded Samoa Aviation Investment Project and the new US$33 million Samoa Aviation Roads and Investment Project, and practical experience with the PASO Council on behalf of the Government of Samoa since 2007 will be very useful in his new role.”
As the incoming General Manager, Mr. Solomona is accountable for PASO’s overall performance to ensure quality regulatory aviation safety and security oversight services are delivered to Member States.
This includes working with the PASO Council and development partners to implement PASO’s 10-year Strategic Plan and the Pacific Regional Aviation Strategy, and support the Regional Aviation Ministers Meeting scheduled for Nauru in March 2024.
Mr. Solomona said it is an honour and privilege to serve the Pacific, and thanked the PASO Council for their confidence and trust in him.
“In my first 100-days, we will focus on connecting with our Members and establishing productive working relationships. We will continue to support and empower our Members to meet their international civil aviation obligations by providing services appropriately delivered to Members to ensure PASO leaves no one behind,” said Mr. Solomona.
“I look forward to progressing and delivering on our leaders’ vision for Pacific aviation from the 2005 Pacific Islander Civil Aviation Safety and Security Treaty which formed PASO. It is time to ensure our Pacific people are involved in professional aviation careers and especially as PASO Inspectors.”
Mr. Solomona also thanked the outgoing PASO General Manager, Mr. Andrew Valentine, for his tremendous work steering PASO over the last seven years and for supporting his transition into the PASO General Manager role.
Starting in January 2024, Mr. Solomona will lead the Pacific’s regional aviation organisation from PASO’s headquarters in Port Vila, Vanuatu