Minister explains Kundiawa Airport delay

The wait on opening the Kundiawa Airport will continue because land earmarked to erect the airport terminal is being occupied by private citizens.

Minister for Civil Aviation Alfred Manase revealed this in parliament yesterday after Member for Karamui-Nomane, Geoffrey Kama, asked to know why the ground work on the airport runway was completed two years ago, but operations have yet to commence.

“Two years ago construction was completed but the airport has not opened yet. Can the Minister tell us why?

“It has become uneconomical for the people of Simbu to travel to Mt Hagen and Goroka to catch a flight,” Kama said.

The Minister said apart from other minor works yet to be in place such as drainage, building the terminal to house operation of flights is the hindrance.

“It’s hard to build a terminal because others in Simbu, private citizens, have occupied the space where the terminal is supposed to be built,” Minister Manase said.

Meantime, the Member for Karamui-Nomane asked if the government could look into upgrading airstrips, especially in his district, so that his people, who are mostly subsistence farmers, can have more access to bring out their garden produce to sell.

“We will look at the 2018 budget for Ministry and accord some funds to help with airstrips, especially the significant ones,” Minister Manase said.

(Minister for Civil Aviation, Alfred Manase, in parliament)

Salome Vincent