Airport work posed no risk, says top official


THE aviation sector has systems in place to ensure safety and security within the industry, says National Airports Corporation managing-director Richard Yopo, pictured.
He told The National that runway maintenance and technical issues were common to all airport operations globally.
NAC and other stakeholders were capable of managing this task, Yopo said when explaining the need for maintenance work done on Sunday on the Jackson Airport runway.
“The main thing for the public to note is that our current safety management systems and the collaboration between our teams within the aviation family works well,” Yopo said.
“How the operators or flights were controlled and monitored (on Sunday) by airport engineers and safety officers, in collaboration with the Air traffic control, PNGASL (PNG Air Services Ltd), throughout the day to ensure safe passage and operations showed that the set processes within the airport systems were working well. Nothing to be alarmed about.”
The maintenance work included pavement repair to a small segment of the runway. That was identified and planned for by NAC in coordination with stakeholders and was completed by yesterday morning.
“We have been fine-tuning our processes and systems gearing up for Apec,” Yopo said.
“We are getting better each time and it’s all being done by highly-skilled and specialised PNG local engineers and airport experts.
“Runway failures and technical glitches do happen at any airport in the world. The real test is how well it is managed within the timeframe without risking the lives of the travelling passengers, operators and workers at the airports in a life-operating environment.”
Yopo called on the public to be wary of misinformed criticism and to consider the hardworking aviation professionals and their commitment to safety.

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