By MALUM NALU
CIVIL Aviation Minister Davis Steven says the 22 airports in the country – except for Kagamuga in Mt Hagen and Jackson International in Port Moresby – are “liabilities”.
“Except for Port Moresby and Mt Hagen, all the other airports are liabilities that we are carrying at the moment in our books,” Steven said.
“That is why in our effort as a Government, myself and Finance Minister James Marape, urged the board to look at restructuring NAC (National Airport Corporation) so that we would have a business arm that would drive the commercial interests of the company.
“My point is that Port Moresby and Mt Hagen aside, which are able to generate sufficient revenue to carry their operational costs and everything else required, the rest of the airports are unable to be regarded as commercially viable.
“That why this Government is working to see how we can support NAC to make sure that those regional airports are sustained.
“For the time being, NAC is carrying all these airports through its own books, on the back of what it generates in Port Moresby.”
He named a new board and an acting managing director on Monday ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in 2018.
Steven said NAC was mandated to manage the 22 airports “and there is no direct Government funding in terms of supporting all those airports”.
“The policy is that NAC would generate its own resources to undertake that obligation,” he said.
By MALUM NALU