By Fabian Hakalits – EMTV News, Port Moresby
Despite rumours that flights were suspended this morning, national flag carrier Air Niugini continued with normal flight operations.
Air Niugini’s Corporate Affairs Department in a statement said that most flights operated per schedule, except for Mount Hagen’s afternoon flights; that were cancelled.
This was due to reports of civil unrest and the closure of the airport by authorities.
Some flights this morning were delayed as passengers and staff had difficulty getting to the airport on time, due to yesterday’s unrest.
However normal flight operations have continued.
Chief Operating Officer for National Airports Corporation (NAC), Sylvester Kenatsi, told EMTV News Kagamuga Airport in Mt Hagen was closed after information was received that the public and students were heading to the airport to cause destruction to infrastructure.
NAC instituted measures to increase security layers at the airport through tight control of terminal access only for those with airline tickets and authorised access to security-restricted areas.
NAC officers, along with airport police and support from landowners, set up a road block at the airport to control rowdy crowds that prevented a potential risk, that could have resulted in the destruction of airport infrastructure.
Kenatsi says the airport is now open after the NOTAM notice was downgraded to cautionary, and the situation is now under control.