Western Highlands Province Capital , Mt Hagen will start receiving international flights next year, utilising the K68 million Kagamuga International Airport Terminal, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said.
He said this in front of a huge crowd at Kagamuga yesterday when opening the new 1200 square metre facility.
“The first flight will be from Mt Hagen to Jayapura in Indonesia and back,” O’Neill said.
“We are also starting discussions on having flights from Australia land here so that our people will not have to go to Port Moresby to catch flights overseas.
“This is something that will serve the people of our country.”
O’Neill said Kagamuga would continue to serve the people of the Highlands.
“The next stage of this airport development is that we will extend the runway at Kagamuga,” he said.
“I appeal to landowners to work with us on this extension so that big planes can land here.”
O’Neill said Kagamuga marked the beginning of airport extension, including Kokopo, Lae, and Port Moresby, as well as others in the country.
“I thank the landowners for allowing this project to go ahead,” he said.
“Two years ago, we came here and launched this project, and I’m happy to be back here again to open it for all of you.”
Work on the project, which was 82 per cent funded by the Asian Development and 18 per cent by the Government for the National Airports Corporation, began on July 2, 2013, and was completed on the target date of Oct 1 this year.
Apart from the terminal building, there has been car park extension, water supply and sewage system, and a tractor shed.
Work has included pavement repairs, strengthening of existing aircraft pavements, runway extension, construction of full strength shoulders to existing runway, widening of existing taxiway, widening of apron, construction of apron shoulders, new GA apron, temporary taxiway, construction of runway end safety areas, widening runway strip to 150m and apron flood lights.
Associated works included supply, delivery, installation and commissioning of two standby generators.
COVEC has also completed the K68 million new-look Hoskins Airport in West New Britain and has been awarded a further contract for Goroka Airport in Eastern Highlands.