Komo boasts longest runway in PNG

National, Normal

The National, Monday July 29th, 2013

 THE PNG LNG Project’s recently-completed Komo airfield, in Hela, is longer than Port Moresby’s Jackson International Airport and just as wide.

Esso Highland Ltd’s (EHL) civil aviation consultant, Mark Koester said Komo was 3,200m long.

“It is longer than Jackson, which is 2,750m. The width, from line to line, is about 45m,” he said.

“From shoulder to shoulder is 57m, which is the same as Jackson.”

Komo has some of the most-modern navigational aids in the world.

“We’re using a central system which integrates airfield lighting, navigational aids and all the meteorological information,” Koester said.

“It’s a system that catalogues and controls all of that.”

However, there are no immediate plans for Komo to take commercial flights, as EHL only uses the giant Russian aircraft, the Antonov An-124, to take in parts for the Hides gas conditioning plants six days a week from Port Moresby. Yesterday was its 74th flight to Komo.

 EHL lands and community affairs interface, Brad Mason, said the company was using the Antonov because the Highlands Highway could not be used.

“The Antonov is bringing in cargo mainly for the Hides gas conditioning plant,” he said.

“The cargo that it brings in is quite sensitive cargo, which can’t survive the Highlands Highway trap.

“We’re still in construction phase for Hides, so we don’t have operational plans for Komo, until we complete Hides gas conditioning plant construction.”

The An-124 is the world’s largest serially manufactured cargo airplane and world’s second largest operating cargo aircraft, behind the one-off Antonov An-225 (an enlarged variant of the An-124) .