Goroka Airport fence ripped off

National, Normal

The National , Wednesday, June 1, 2011

THE Goroka Airport fencing project and possible extension is likely to be affected by a development project encroaching at the end of the runway.
The National Airports Corporation (NAC) last week advertised tender notice for fencing of Goroka (Eastern Highlands), Hoskins (East New Britain), Kavieng (New Ireland) and Boram (East Sepik) airports for fencing projects.
However, a development project at the end of the Goroka runway forced concerned traditional landowners yesterday to say any fencing and extension programme for the airport must be put on hold until an understanding was reached with the project developer at the end of the runway.
Landowners spokesman Joseph Hanamo said the developer acquired title over the portion of land in 2005 and moved a bulldozer to clear the place.
“The Department of Civil Aviation stopped him and I led locals in assaulting the machine operator and stopped the work and I was arrested by the police.
“Now, the airport is listed for improved fencing and possible extension but the developer moved into the area.
“I told concerned authorities but nothing has happened,” Hanamo said.
He said the section being fenced off by the developer “is considered as “approach and take off” area for planes.
Hanamo, who spoke on behalf of the Faniufa, Kami, Seigu and Kama tribes, who owned part of the land taken up by the airport, said they would not allow any fencing and extension project to proceed unless the developer gave way.
“I speak as one of the airport landowners, this project will not proceed until the matter with the developer is fixed.
“We (landowners) must benefit from spin-offs.
“We are not after compensation,” Hanamo said.
He said fencing on the western side had been ripped off and removed.
“If the developer insists on the project, airlines and passengers will be at great risk as take off and landing will be disturbed,” Hanamo said.
Attempts to contact the developer (named) and NAC chairman Joseph Kintau yesterday for comments were unsuccessful.