National Government to Announce Rural Freight Subsidy

by Scott Waide – EM TV, Lae

Civil Aviation Minister, Davis Steven, hinted at the coming decision during an inspection at Lae’s Nadzab airport.

The policy is expected to support agriculture, tourism and other industries that rely on air travel.

Over 40 years, rural airstrips have been allowed to deteriorate. By the turn of the century, there were few airstrips in operation.

In provinces like Sandaun, third level airlines withdrew due to high operating costs.

Since taking office, the Civil Aviation Minister, Davis Stevens, has visited at least one rural airstrip in nearly every province of the country.

Morobe has featured prominently on the list of priorities because the province has about one fifth of Papua New Guinea’s estimated 200 plus airstrips.

In the next few months, the government will announce a policy aimed at cutting the freight cost burden for people in rural areas.

This could result in significant gains for coffee growing rural populations who have to pay a hefty freight costs charged by third level airlines.

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