By JEFFREY ELAPA
THE recent threat and closure of Tari Airport is the work of certain groups with vested self-interest and not by the registered Tari Town Landowners Association (TTLA) Inc which compromises 13 landowner clans.
Deputy chairman of TTLA and former mayor of Tari Benjamin Mongobe said this after several landowners had threatened to close the airport over demands for recognition from ExxonMobil and the state for seed capital as well as compensation from the National Airports Corporation.
Mongope said TTLA, comprising more than 13 clans that own the land Tari town is situated including the airport, had been pursuing the case for more than 20 years but they were not aware of any imminent threats to the airport, nor had they instigated any actions which may amount to such threats as reported over the few weeks.
He said the association had been pursing the matter of land compensation and other benefits through peaceful means as they did not want to jeopardise the public and many multi-million companies operating in the region.
“We did not see the need to issue threats because we had good discussions and negotiation with Governor Anderson Agiru, our local Tari-Pori MP James Marape, the developer ExxonMobil, contractor Curtain Brothers, Air Niugini and the National Airports Corporation,” he said.
However, he said the threats were not in the interest of the genuine landowners but were actions of some self-motivated groups.