Aviation Safety and Security conference on in Kokopo

Security threats are now a serious reality to the Aviation industry in the world, and Papua New Guinea is no exception.

This is why there is a huge need for aviation safety to become a top priority, both in domestic and international policy making.

Civil Aviation Minister Davis Steven highlights these as among the many challenges that face the aviation industry, including increasing concern over the environmental impact of aviation overall.

His remarks were made this morning at the opening of a high level aviation safety and security conference taking place at the Gazelle International in Kokopo, East New Britain.

The theme of the week-long conference is ‘Rising to Future Aviation Challenges through Collaborative Approach’, and is addressing the imminent aviation challenges and opportunities.

“Aviation plays a special role in our economic future, nationally and globally,” Minister Davis said.

He said there continues to be safety risks emerging, and these must be addressed proactively.

“[This is] to ensure that this significant capacity expansion is carefully managed and supported through strategic regulatory and infrastructure developments.”

“Aviation is a real opportunity, a bright spot in our future.”

“It is a sector that even by conservative projections has the potential to grow substantially in the next decade and beyond,” Minister Davis pointed out.

“However, aviation also faces major challenges, as we all know. Margins remain tight and risks are high in this highly competitive airline industry.”

“There is growing competition for skilled manpower, particularly pilots and maintenance crew,” he revealed.

He stated that the Government however, with stakeholders, can prioritise aviation safety and security.

“The Government must devote substantial resources and effort to this area of work,” he said.

Other areas of improving the aviation industry, minimising risks, and prioritising safety include an update, promotion and upgrade to modern global air navigation technologies; essential global, regional and state aviation safety and security planning; developing talent and skills in adequate training quality programs; airport terrorist surveillance; and improvement of infrastructure capacity as air traffic continues to grow.

So far, this high level aviation safety and security conference meet has been enthusiastically embraced and described as timely by East New Britain Governor Ereman ToBaining.

A good turn out by Civil Aviation CEO, and representatives of PNG Resource sector and climate change development authority, including the Director of Aviation Safety – CASA Australia and his team and other overseas guests, the National Airports Corporation, National Weather Services, Rural Airstrip Agency and PNG Air Services Limited are continuing the discussion on strategic updates of the government agencies and State Aviation Enterprises.

Joshua Arlo