Pilots put PNG on world map

Editorial, Normal

The National, Tuesday 09th April, 2013

 IT is most uplifting to read about the Narara family’s exploits in the field of aviation.

Granger Narara and his brother Tico made Papua New Guineans everywhere proud when they became captains of industry, literal­ly, on one of the most successful airlines in the world, the Emirates Airlines.

And now Granger Narara, who was chief training pilot for Emirates Airline, is the vice-president for flight ope­rations at Etihad Airways, the flag carrier of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which operates out of Abu Dhabi International Airport. 

Tico is captain of the biggest commercial airliner in the world, the Airbus A380 for Emirates Airlines, capable of carrying 823 passengers and 20 crew members.

Emirates, which operates out of Dubai International Airport in the UAE, is the largest airline in the Middle East. It operates more than 2,500 flights per week to 122 cities in 74 countries across six continents

And now from the same fa­mily comes news that Gran­ger’s eldest son, Nigel, is a captain in the same cockpit as his dad flying the crowded airspaces of the world. 

Given such genes, who is to say that a third generation, Nigel’s two-year-old son, Kingston, won’t take after dad and bubu (grandfather)?

The Nararas are not alone in placing PNG on the map.

The Yasi family of Mendi are another aviation success story.

Capt Peter Yasi and his two sons – Capt Esmond Yasi and Capt Richie Yasi –are all flying in the skies of PNG, Australia and Southeast Asia.

Capt Peter Yasi, an ex-PNGDF pilot, flies the Moresby-Brisbane-Cairns routes for Airlines PNG. 

Capt Esmond Yasi flies Air Niugini’s Boeing 737 on its overseas routes. 

Capt Richie Yasi flies the Dash 8 for Airlines PNG. 

Capt Esmond Yasi’s wife, Bona Kipalan Yasi, also flies for Air Niugini.

Capt Ted Paki was also instructing pilots in Abu Dhabi, then was chief execu­tive of a Chinese airline before he returned home to head Airline Services Ltd. 

His daughter flies for Air Niu­gini.

Capt Mark Nea of Enga flies for Cathay Pacific.

Western Highlander Capt James Makop flies Chinese Boeing 747 cargo aircraft to all parts of the world.

These are just a few of our exports in the aviation field.

Papua New Guineans are making their way up in other highly competitive fields as well.

In the mining and petro­leum field, Papua New Gui­neans have made their way up to become global leaders. 

Isikeli Taureka has been chosen by global petrochemical giant Chevron to be country manager for its operations in the world’s fastest growing economy, China.

The son of a politician father and a Fijian mother, Taureka has now won a tender to develop a 2,000 square kilometre portion of Sichuan province in a US$2 billion joint venture with PetroChina.

A product of University of Papua New Guinea and a banker by profession, Taureka is a giant in his field and a wonderful role model for Papua New Guineans.

We also hear of a Jerry Geri of Chimbu making his way up a mining company somewhere in Africa. We have doctors and professors in surprising places around the world. More will follow.

These are the big league players. These are the heroes PNG needs to promote for our youngsters to emulate.

Yet, year after year, as officials gather to pick people for the Queen’s honours list or the government’s own Logohu awards, the Nararas and the Taurekas hardly warrant a mention.

It is small wonder our children emulate criminals because they are consider­ed the real life heroes who evade the government’s law enforcement agencies and bring home the proceeds of their crime, pretty much resembling modern equivalents of Robin Hood.