NAC slams land grabbing

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday 12th February, 2013

ILLEGAL land-grabbing is prevalent in state-owned aerodrome land, according to the National Airports Corporation (NAC).                                                
Managing director Joseph Kintau said yesterday that former landowners had entered into illegal deals involving prominent leaders, companies and individuals.                                                                                     
He said Port Moresby’s Jackson airport was being affected by illegal land-grabbing and people involved were disregarding state land zoned for aerodrome operations.              
“The public need to know that the Lands Act does not have any jurisdiction in respect to the land administration, ownership and titles,” Kintau said.                                                                                               
“And under this Act any persons or company purporting to have titles within aerodrome land is illegal.                                                                                                                        
“The corporation will take action against the Lands Department to declare those land titles null and void.”                         
Kintau said former landowners had made claims against the Port Moresby aerodrome land where the government intervened and assisted in business development and seed capital funding.
NAC objected to the claim which was in the tune of billions of kina but it maintained that the government’s commitment was adequate as former landowners had also participated in spinoff business activities, pro­jects and investment opportunities in aerodrome land.                                 
“Aerodrome development plan runs over many years.
“It is consistent with demand for growth and population and economic activities.
“And because of this, aerodrome land is reserved to accommodate these expansions,” he said.     
Kintau added that there were 760ha of aerodrome land of which 350ha were reserved for aircraft movement and other airport infrastructure and the rest of the land was on lease.                                                                                          
He said Port Moresby’s international airport had a 30-year master plan that would involve utilisation of aerodrome land to support aviation activities in the country.
Therefore people should consult the NAC before using land reserved by the government for aerodrome activities, he said.               
Kintau said NAC had started auditing, surveys and checks on the issuance of title and agreements and various understanding which resulted in illegal land alienation.                                        
He also called on the Lands Department to be well-informed when issuing land to individuals and companies.                                                                                                                                
“NAC also advises the public, business houses and individuals of current court proceedings and restraining orders that are in place regarding aerodrome land usage,” Kintau said.