New Caledonia to reopen Noumea-La Tontouta Airport following deadly unrest

ir Caledonia aircraft at Noumea Airport
EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

The High Commission of the Republic in New Caledonia has confirmed that Noumea-La Tontouta International Airport (NOU) will reopen following deadly unrest that broke out on the French territory on May 13, 2024.

In a statement on June 16, 2024, the High Commission issued an update in which it announced that that the airport would reopen during the day from June 17, 2024.

The High Commission said this was “made possible thanks to numerous securing and clearing operations”.

The commission also said that in “view of the improvement in the situation and in order to facilitate the gradual return to normal life” a curfew would start at 20:00 rather than 18:00.

The recent unrest in Nouméa broke out amid intense discussions during a parliamentary session concerning a constitutional reform being contested by supporters of New Caledonian independence.

A voting reform would have allowed long-term residents to take part in local polls, against the wishes of many indigenous Kanaks.

Violence and looting subsequently broke out resulting in the deaths of nine people and hundreds more injured.

Commercial flights that link New Caledonia to Sydney, Tokyo, Singapore and other areas in the Pacific were cancelled and the Australian, New Zealand and French governments conducted evacuation flights as violence spread across the territory.

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