Helicopter firm helps farmers in remote areas

Business

By MEMO HAUKE
A HELICOPTER company is helping farmers in remote villages of Central which have no roads to sell their garden produce.
Airborne Logistics PNG buys the farm produce from the farmers at the villages which it then sells to consumers in Port Moresby. It also delivers store goods to the remote villages.
Doug Allgood, the chief operating officer, said they made the arrangement last year after noticing the difficulties the villagers faced because they had no roads to transport the produce to the nearest towns.
“The company now has three helicopters to serve the local people,” he said.
They fly on Tuesdays and Thursdays to Koari, and the rest of the weekdays to Goilala.
“Both weekends are off unless they are chartered by individuals or companies,” Allgood said.
Pilot Steve Farley said he was happy to serve the needs of the local people.
“It takes us 15 minutes to reach the village from Port Moresby.
It costs money but saves locals time of walking.
“The villages are situated next to each other but right on the top of the mountains.
“When we return we weigh and purchase local produce from the local people to sell at the airport for Port Moresby residents to come and buy. On average the Airborne Logistics brings about two tonnes of local produce every day to sell to Port Moresby customers.”
Local Hezron Laimo said it would take him a day or two of walking, after getting dropped off at the main station, to reach his village.
Laimo thanked the company for making air transport available to the people.
“I am very happy with this company for serving our needs and wants.
“Life has been tough for us especially in the areas around Koiari.
“Our villages are situated right on the mountains tops and there is no road.
“Life has been mainly based on garden food and whenever we want supply, we would walk for a day or two to visit the town station or travel to Port Moresby.”
Airborne Logistics is located in Port Moresby. It  buys from farmers and in return, the company sells food and store goods to the farmers. It has been operating since 2009 providing passenger and cargo charter, external load operations (sling), aerial survey, exploration support and logistics and medical evacuation.
Airborne Logistic chief operating officer Doug Allgood had said the company has agents in these areas to do its sale of white goods and inform the people of the flights schedules to the areas. Its vegetable market is at the Corporate Jets Hangar on Jackson Parade.

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