27 Oct 2020

Bougainville close to opening second airport post Covid-19 tightening

4:49 pm on 27 October 2020

The Aropa Airport in Central Bougainville may receive its first passenger flight in months this Thursday.

Bougainville Police Commissioner, Francis Tokura

Bougainville Police Commissioner, Francis Tokura Photo: The Bougainvillean

The airport was shut down to passenger flights in April as the autonomous Papua New Guinea region moved to keep Covid-19 at bay.

Since then there has been just one confirmed local case of the virus, that of a returning student, who had flown into Buka airport.

Bougainville's state of emergency controller, Francis Tokura, told New Dawn FM that he'd given approval for a re-opening at Aropa Airport two months ago, but they had been waiting for a quarantine facility for passengers to be set up.

Mr Tokura said he would give the green light for the first passenger flight to Aropa Airport this Thursday if the quarantine issue is sorted.

Aropa will reportedly be getting charter, medivac and freight flights, and will be receiving one passenger flight every week on Thursdays only.

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