Believe it or not, the Fagali’i Airport, located on the Isle of Upolu, wasn’t paved until June 2002. Before that, it was was an all grass airstrip. In January of 2005, the Fagali’i Airport was decommissioned due to safety concerns with the surrounding village as well as the noise of the landing and taking-off of aircrafts.
Polynesian Airlines, who were the original owners (now known as Samoa Airways), re-opened Fagali’i Airport in 2009 even though the decision received more than a fair amount of criticism. The concerns were with, of course, the safety of the surrounding village as well as environmental issues.
Fagali’i Airport is open to the public and offers international flights, Pago Pago, the capital of American Samoa, being just one of many destinations. Both Samoa Airways and Tolofa Airways operate out of Fagali’i Airport.
Fagali’i is also known as Fagali’i-uta. A census taken in the year 2006 reported the village’s population at just under 1,600 people. Fagali’i also has an 18 hole golf course. It is named the Royal Samoa Golf Course and is very close to the airport. It was opened in 1970 and was originally a 9 hole course. A lot of golfers state that the course is quite challenging, especially when you factor in the heat and humidity.