Sixteen Komo Clans demand benefits from State and Developer for Airfield

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By Jack Lapauve Jr – EMTV News, Port Moresby

Sixteen head clans in the Komo Airfield area of Hela province have given the Government and Exxon Mobil less than 10 days to respond to their petition.

Chairman of umbrella company, Mandaki Limited John Pipija, says Komo airfield landowners have been left out with no formal agreements to specify their benefits.

The 16 clans signed a 7-page petition last week to get the Government’s attention. Two specific points were expressed; Government to honor a K70 million commitment announced in 2011, and Komo Airfield to be declared a standalone facility like Papa Lea lea.

For these 16 clans, it has been a hard fought battle, despite hosting the airfield. The only benefit they received is the K700 per hectare to clans as rental for the airfield. The 16 clans have waited for nearly 10 years for the State and developer to come forward and explain why they were combined with PDL 8 landowners in Angore. They say a new agreement for Komo Airfield must be signed between them, developer Exxon Mobil and the State. The Komo Airfield landowners now stand together and say if the Government does not respond, shutting down the airfield remains an option.

The 16 clans signed the 7 page petition to make their position.