22 Jul 2011

Fence repair stands between resumption of flights into PNG town

6:24 pm on 22 July 2011

The chief executive of a Papua New Guinea airline which has cancelled its commercial flights to Kundiawa in Simbu province, says they can resume once a fence is fixed.

People have to travel two hours to the next airport and the local hospitality industry is suffering.

The head of Air Niugini Wasantha Kumarasiri, says the airline decided to cancel most flights to the town following a safety inspection in May.

He says the fence surrounding the tarmac had been cut and some people had been throwing bottles onto the runway and using it as a short-cut.

"Until the fence is done and if we get a response from the provincial government or provincial airports or someone says that they have fixed the problem and can you carry out a safety audit, then we carry out a safety audit and if that meets our expectation we'll do it."

Wasantha Kumarasiri says they've informed the authorities who're responsible for repairing the fence and he doesn't understand why that work hasn't begun.