by Fabian Hakalits – EMTV News, Port Moresby
Landowners of the Buka Airport have agreed to work closely with the National Airports Corporation for the safety of the traveling public.
A meeting with the local chiefs discussed consequences and a way forward that would allow flight operations to continue into Buka.
Chiefs of Ieta Village, the customary land where the Buka Airport is located, made a resolution to work closely with the National Airports Corporation on issues concerning compensation and projects.
The Chiefs held a meeting with NAC Chief Operating Officer, Sylvester Kenatsi, following a media report, that Buka Airport was unsafe and risky.
Mr Kenatsi explained safety and security were critical and NAC as a legal corporation will work closely with landowners and other aviation authorities to address this ongoing problem.
It was noted that during the meeting, after roles and functions were identified, chiefs began to understand that showed lack of awareness by the successive government.
The chiefs agreed that fencing and extension of the runway will proceed and all compensation claims will be made through the Lands Department.
Awareness on the airport will be carried out in the villages that will also look on boundaries.
Meanwhile, NAC and the Chiefs have called on the Autonomous Bougainville Government to be a partner to address airport issues.