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Vanimo Airport Closure Threat

A land owner group is planning to stop the opening of a new airport terminal in Vanimo, West Sepik province.

The head of the Narimo clan in Vanimo Ernest Nikengu claimed that his land used for the development of the airport was not paid.

“Why National Airport Corporation did not respond to my petition for the payment of land before or during the opening of the facility. The land is still customary land and if they think the land was paid, I would like to see the documents” Nikengu said.

Meanwhile Vanimo Provincial Administrator Conrad Tilau says the state had acquired the land from the land owners and the landmark project must go ahead as planned.

“Let the opening proceed while we wait for the NAC’s response” Tilau said.

The airport terminal is set to be open on Monday June 6th and the land owners are now planning to take actions.

“If the NAC did not come up with a response between now and Monday, definitely we will close the airport on Sunday night and no official opening on Monday” Nikengu said.

However the provincial government disagrees with the plan because this will stop development and service that will benefit the entire population.

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