Businesses welcome plan to upgrade Tokua airport


THE business community in East New Britain welcomes any development to boost the local economy in particular the upgrading of Tokua airport to enhance tourism.
Speaking on the need to effectively promote the tourism industry in the province, president of the East New Britain Chamber of Commerce, David Stein, said the chamber wanted to promote a good strong business environment, assist and promote enterprises and investment in the province.
He said traditional forms of income for ENB had been fishing and logging, apart from cocoa and copra, with the emerging oil palm and balsa commodities.
However, he said tourism was a major potential revenue earner for all sectors of society, from the government to the private sector and grassroots people.
Therefore, Stein said tourism has to be promoted in all aspects.
The chamber recently met Air Niugini CEO Simon Foo and National Airports Corporation CEO Richard Yopo, to discuss plans to upgrade Tokua into an international airport.
The chamber was advised during the meeting that the National Airports Corporation has a budget of K3 million to upgrade Tokua airport. Work will in be phases starting with data collection, feasibility and design by next year, followed by construction between 2019 and 2020.
Stein said the chamber was optimistic of having an international airport at Tokua by 2020, because tourism in the province could not be fully embraced without an international airport facility.

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