K1.8bn to fund airport upgrade

Main Stories, National

The National, Monday September 14th, 2015


THE redevelopment of Nadzab Airport in Lae will cost about K1.8 billion, the biggest funding assistance so far in the Pacific region by the Japanese government.

A funding agreement on exchange of notes was signed on Friday between PNG’s Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Rimbink Pato and Japanese Ambassador Morio Matsumoto at the Sir John Guise Stadium indoor complex for work to get underway as soon as formalities were complete.

The ¥27 billion   (K1.8 billion) will be used to reconstruct the Nadzab international and domestic passenger terminal building and upgrade the airside of the airport, including the runway and other facilities.

It is part of Japan’s country assistance policy for PNG that extends assistance in infrastructure  development .

Japan’s vice-minister for Foreign Affairs Kazayuki Nakane was at the ceremony.

“It’s a very important contribution by Japan to Papua New Guinea when we are seeking to align all our development partners, our bilateral partners and our multilateral and trilateral organisations to partner with PNG in assisting us to deliver the government priorities and programmes which are presently focused on education, health, law and order and, most importantly, infrastructure development,” Pato said.

“Through infrastructure, through roads and bridges and airports, we are able to reach markets, we are able to bring the sick to the hospital, we are able to have police address law and order in the country.”

Matsumoto said the assistance was significant as it marked 40 years of existing relationship between the two countries and came as a token on the eve of PNG’s 40th independence anniversary.

 He said Nadzab Airport redevelopment was by far the biggest support project in the Pacific.

“This will improve facilitation of air transportation and contribute to economic growth in PNG, further supporting the government of PNG’s goal in Vision 2050 in improving existing infrastructure for high quality transportation and communication networks,” Matsumoto said.

The Yen loan was discussed in May  between Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and PNG’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill at the 7th Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting in Fukushima, Japan.