3 Nov 2010

PNG landowners force Tari airport to close

7:56 am on 3 November 2010

Angry landowners in Papua New Guinea's Southern Highlands province have forced the closure of Tari airport amid claims for compensation payments.

The Post Courier newspaper reports that the National Airport Corporation has advised all airlines not to fly into Tari for the safety of passengers and aircraft from possible landowner reprisals.

However, a twin otter plane belonging to Airlines PNG flew with explosives for Esso Highlands from Port Moresby into Tari and was reportedly physically confronted by the landowners.

Esso Highlands is the subsidiary company of ExxonMobil, the developer of the multi-billion kina PNG liquefied natural gas project.