Bauerfield International Airport is a public airport located in Port Vila, Vanuatu. Although relatively small in size, its asphalt runway (directed 11/29 and measuring 2,600 metres or 8,530 feet long) has the capability and length to accept jets up to the Airbus A330. It lies at an elevation of eight feet or 21 metres above mean sea level and can be found on the map at these coordinates: 17°41′57″S 168°19′11″E. The airport serves as the hub for Vanuatu's flag carrier airline, Air Vanuatu.
Bauerfield International Airport was built during World War II, under Admiral King, who distributed the joint basic plan for the occupation and defence of Efate as the Japanese forces established their bases on Guadalcanal that threatened the sea route between the U.S. and Australia. The plan’s terms included the defence of Efate and support the defence of ships and positions. The US Navy was to construct, administer, and operate a naval advance base, seaplane base, and harbour facilities; support Army forces in the defence of the island; construct an airfield and at least two outlying dispersal fields; and provide facilities for the operation of seaplane-bombers.
The airfield was originally named Efate Field, Vila Field, or McDonald Field but was later officially named Bauer Field after Lt-Col. Harold W. Bauer. After the war, the base was disestablished and abandoned in 1946.
The present-day international airport is located in the city of Port Vila, the capital and largest city in Vanuatu, located south coast of the island of Efate, in Shefa Province. It experiences a tropical climate, with a dry season and a hot, wet season. Port Vila is Vanuatu’s economic and commercial centre. The city is inhabited by 44,040 people (as of the 2009 census). Its major industries are agriculture and fishing, as well as tourism, with most of its foreign visitors coming from Australia and New Zealand. Because of Vanuatu’s status as a tax haven, offshore financing in Port Vila is an important part of the nation’s economy.
Port Vila offers various sights that one can visit. There are numerous memorials such as the one opposite the Parliament where two traditional totem poles; and a monument representing a pig's tusk. There’s also the impressive Presbyterian Church of Port Vila and the City Hall of Port Vila, an oblong building on a hill in the city centre. The Vanuatu Cultural Centre, which hosts the Vanuatu National Museum, is situated at the Saralana Park in front of the national parliament, nearby the National Library and the Malvatumauri (Vanuatu National Council of Chiefs). It is a vital place for the preservation and promotion of the different aspects of the local culture. The museum houses traditional artefacts from several islands and it also hosts the National Audiovisual Archives.
Bauerfield International Airport is has Domestic and International Terminals. The airport served by a number of airlines that offer passenger flights both domestic and international destinations, most of which are scheduled, and one each that offers charter and seasonal flights. Air Vanuatu operates out of the Domestic and International Terminals, and Aircalin, Air New Zealand, Fiji Airways, Solomon Airlines, and Virgin Australia operate out of the International Terminal.