By Fabian Hakalits – EMTV Port Moresby
The Aropa Airport landowners of Kieta, Central Bougainville, have applauded National Flag Carrier, Air Niugini, for recognising and fulfilling Melanesian cultural obligations.
The National Airline has fulfilled its customary obligation for using the name Kieta on one of its Q400 aircraft, Papa-X-ray-Tango.
This aircraft bears the name Kieta, and made her maiden voyage to Aropa carrying PNG Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, for the airport’s reopening on December 12, 2014.
Air Niugini senior executives led by General Manager Commercials, Dominic Kaumu, handed over two pigs and other food items to landowners.
Mr Kaumu said part of Air Niugini’s obligation is to promote cultural heritage. Recognition was given to landowners, the National and Autonomous Bougainville Government, for allowing the resume of flight operations.
South Nasioi Council of Elders Chairman, Thaddeus Davanara said that the traditional obligation fulfillment has opened doors to many business opportunities and landowners assured that air services will continue in and out of Aropa Airport.
Landowner representative, Bernadine Daviung, said they want to follow Bougainville’s pathway to referendum as active recipients of goods and services.
Meanwhile landowners are willing to take ownership of the airport through recruitment exercise for school leavers. This includes the costs benefits and spin-offs.