US$75.3m for air service

National, Normal

The National, Thursday October 10th, 2013

 CABINET has approved an additional funding of US$75.3 million (K195.8 million) for the implementation of the PNG Air Services Limited modernisation programme.

Acting Prime Minister Leo Dion said National Executive Council endorsed the additional funding for the programme’s implementation. The total cost of the programme is US$95.3 million (K247.85 million). 

The airline industry demanded PNGASL provide a much better and more efficient level of service that meets current international standards and that helps them reduce operational costs, Dion said.

“A fully automated air traffic management service using satellite-based technology, will definitely add value to its core customers,” he said.

“Therefore, the funding endorsed will greatly assist in the upgrading of the deteriorating state of the airways infrastructure and help in the lack of capability to integrate with modern innovated airborne equipment and technology.”

Dion said this would boost PNGASL to provide modern air navigation services and improve in the growing trends and developments in aviation technology.

“The benefits of modernising PNG’s airways infrastructure and services will include improving compatibility with global trends, enhancing safety and efficiencies in operations, seamless services with adjacent service providers and cost effective services for both airlines and PNGASL,” he said.

Dion said most importantly was having direct safety benefits on airline operations into rural and remote airstrips of PNG, where the majority of the population live and rely on air transportation services.

Cabinet has also endorsed a ministerial statement to Parliament on the communication sector recently.

Dion said the NEC approved the statement on the status of the sector and has given endorsement for the statement to be presented in Parliament.

Dion said the statement highlighted the major activities of the Department of Communication and Information, National Information and Communication Technology Authority (NICTA) and the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC).

“The Minister for Communication and Information has ministerial and functional responsibilities for DCI, NICTA and NBC, and in August 2011, the government included Telikom (PNG) Limited to the Minister’s list of responsibilities,” he said.