Safety at Nadzab queried

Lae News, Normal

The National, Thursday 5th January 2012

THERE are concerns that safety and security standards at Nadzab Airport, Lae, are below par putting travellers at risk.
National Airport Corporation safety compliance officers operating on the ground at Nadzab have been questioned by industry insiders and passengers following the reduction of ground staff responsible for flights in and out of the airport and the reported deteriorating infrastructure.
That includes the deteriorating state of the watch tower and the airport’s fire-fighting equipment.
When contacted some staff said their numbers on shifts had been cut and that they now started work late.
They said it was to cut down on overtime payouts.
An industry insider said travellers were now flying at their own risk because there had been “no real maintenance work done to improve the airport’s standard in a long time”.
“The drop in the number of trained staff on site and their late start is dangerous as it can affect their preparations for early and late flights,” the insider said.
Travellers complained there were not enough chairs in
the terminal and that the terminal toilets were in a poor condition.
Calls to the corporation offices at Nadzab, Lae and Port Moresby for comments went unanswered.
Air Niugini, which flies regular to and from Nadzab, has yet to respond to questions. An Airlines PNG spokesman said the airline had a reputation with its Dash-8 aircraft of accessing remote airports that were not up to standard.
The spokesman said any improvements to Nadzab airport’s infrastructure would be welcomed as the airline was paying for such services.
The travelling public have raised concerns that service providers and shopowners at the terminal were not operating up to standard and were a hindrance to the growth of tourism.