The National, Monday 3rd June 2013
By MALUM NALU
NEW board members have been appointed to the National Airports Corporation (NAC).
Civil Aviation Minister David Steven made the announcement at a media conference yesterday but did not name a board chairman to replace Peter Neville.
He also declined to confirm or deny whether NAC chief executive officer Joseph Kintau had been suspended from office.
“This is not a matter that we are going to discuss at this forum now,” Steven said.
“We can’t answer that.”
The new board members are Michael Jelliffe of Missionary Aviation Fellowship (MAF) representing the aviation industry, Reuben Aila of PNG Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Jerry Agus of the tourism industry, Malcolm Leslie Lewis representing shareholders, Transport Secretary Roy Mumu and Treasury Secretary Simon Tosali.
Outgoing chairman Neville, lawyer Freda Talao and airline representative Jack Pidik were not reappointed to the board.
However, Steven praised by leadership of the previous board, saying Neville had done a commendable job.
He said the previous board, being the founder board, experienced some trying times in the industry and had emerged with much credit.
“The decision has been gazetted. It’s now effective,” Steven said of the new board.
“The decision underpins and demonstrates the O’Neill Government’s decision to see that Papua New Guinea takes its place in the Asian Century, to build institutions and related infrastructure to achieve this.
“It’s part of our effort as a government to ensure that we lay the foundations for the future we desire.”
Steven said NAC was a key national asset charged with operating 21 airports around the country.
“It’s an important, critical aviation entity,” he said.
“It must be protected always.
“The national executive council saw the need to make the changes that have been made, especially at the board level.
“I want to emphasise now that the underlying decision was that the previous board’s term of three years had expired in October of 2012.
“I also want to say that the national executive council is mindful of the fact that the previous board is the founding board, and they must be commended for the good work that they put in, particularly in the first three years when NAC had to transit from the public service to a private sector entity.
“That has been a very difficult task and I commend the leadership of the outgoing chairman, Peter Neville and members of his board.
“As for the future, I am proud as the minister that the board we have put together is representative and compliant with the law as set out in the Civil Aviation Act.
“All the sectors that must and should be represented are now represented.”