The people of West Sepik Province will now enjoy the luxury of a new airport terminal.
The refurbished facility valued at K70.1 million was officially opened yesterday.
The board and management of the National Airports Corporation officiated at the opening ceremony witnessed by invited guests, international partners and the people of Vanimo.
Dignitaries including media personal arrived on a chartered flight from Port Moresby at around 10am to a rousing welcome in Vanimo by the locals.
School children proudly dressed in their respective school uniforms assembled at the oval in town to receive the guests.
When addressing the people, NAC CEO Mr Rex Kiponge said the upgrade of the aircraft pavement will now accommodate for two Fokker 100 air craft at any given time. He further thanked the government of PNG, the Asian Development Bank, and other agencies and highlighted some of the amenities in the new terminal.
“I am happy to announce that the new terminal building for Vanimo airport was constructed to NAC standards has a big space to cater for more than 100 people” Kiponge said.
Mr Kiponge also acknowledged the support of the PNG Defence Force for allowing a portion of its land to NAC to further develop the new terminal building.
“If it wasn’t for your understanding and support and giving us the land where the near terminal now sit, it would not be possible to have this new terminal building in Vanimo Airport. Thank you for the commitment and the relationship with NAC” Kiponge said.
In exchange, the NAC has refurbished PNGDF facilities including its Forward Operating Base in Vanimo.
NAC plans to increase airport infrastructure developments to encourage non-aviation business activities in its airports so when there’s no flights, there is still business activities going on at the airport area.
The Civil Aviation Development Investment program 2 (CADIP2) will include the upgrading of identified rural air strips in the country.
“I am also happy to announce that under CADIP2 program we have accommodated. Marape Rosso government going rural and connect PNG policy by upgrading existing rural airstrips under the program” NAC CEO said.
The refurbished Vanimo airport cost K70 million. This includes the extension of the runway and the terminal building.
Four other airports for upgrades will be opened. They include Kavieng, Madang, Mendi and Wapenamanda airports.