Govt told rural airstrips provide vital link

Highlands

THE Government is urged to build more airstrips in the country’s remote regions where roads cannot be easily built.
Godfrey Sim, the church, community, and government partnership manager with Missionary Fellowship Aviation  PNG (MAF), said rural airstrips played a very important role in connecting people to the outside world.
He said this recently while thanking Jimi MP and Vice-Minister for Works and Implementation Wake Goi for giving K250,000 to MAF to subsidise airfares from Kagamuga Airport in Western Highlands to Jimi district in Jiwaka.
He said that some places where there were rugged mountains, big fast-flowing rivers, dense forests and cliffs, the Government would be unable to build roads, so the best option would be to build airstrips to connect rural people to the outside world.
He said that the Rural Airstrip Agency needed to re-open some airstrips which it had been closed because they had been poorly maintained.
Sim said that in rural aviation, the availability of aircraft, installation of communication networks and the condition of the rural airstrips were important for the safety of operators who fly in and out of those areas.
He said that third-level airline operators provided vital services to the people in very remote areas but the absence of communication or poorly maintained airstrips prevented airlines from operating.
Sim said that the rural aviation operators needed support from the Government in order to serve the people.

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