Captain Immanuel Kadiko and Captain Steward Kadiko, both aircraft captains, father and son who flew the inaugural flights to re-open Aropa Airport last Friday.
Captain Immanuel Kadiko, the father, was the pilot who flew the last aircraft out of Aropa Airport with a government delegation on board the government aircraft Kumul, before its closure during the Bougainville civil crisis.
Last Friday, his son Captain Steward Kadiko, flew the first aircraft Air Niugini, with a high powered government delegation back to re-open the Aropa airport after 23 years.
Whilst everyone reflect on their own experiences on the Island of Bougainvelle during the crisis, Captain Immanuel Kadiko said, he had great memories of the airport itself.
He said it was a coincidence, that him and his son flew the first two aircrafts on the same day back on the very airport that he had left more then twenty years ago.
The Captain emotionally said he was the last pilot who flew a government delegation out of Bougainville, at the time of Sir Rabbie Namaliu as the Prime Minister. Sir Rabbie sent Chris Haiveta who was Sir Rabbie Chief of Stuff at that time to do the last negotiation effort on the civil crisis. But, Captain Kadiko said it did not work out well, so he had to flew them out on the Kumul before landowners damage the airport.
Captain Immanuel Kadiko with smile said, as soon as he flew the plan out of the run way, angry landowners ran into the airport vicinity and dug up ditches across the runway, and until then no aircraft have ever return to Aropa Airport until today (Last Friday 12 December 2014).
Captain Kadiko who captain the Mangi Lo Ples ,Travel Air told NBC reporter on the flight, " I could not control my emotions, when I first sighted the Aropa Airport from the top, but I reminded myselfself, that I had to bring the plane down safety for Landing."
And he said its a pride for him and his family to see both father and son flew in at the same time on the inaugural flights into an airport where the dad was the last to flew out in 1989. NBC News
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