March 15, 2019

PNG bans Boeing 737-8 MAX in its airspace

PNG bans Boeing 737-8 MAX in its airspace

As a precautionary measure, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of PNG has prohibited the operation of Boeing 737-8 ‘MAX’ and Boeing 737-9 ‘Max’ in the Port Moresby Flight Information Region.

Effective March 14th, the director of civil aviation, in the exercise of his powers under section 17 of the Civil Aviation Act 2002 (as amended), directs operators of any Boeing 737-8 ‘MAX’ and Boeing 737-9 ‘Max’, which are registered in a third country, not to conduct any flights in PNG airspace.

“This safety and operational directive is made in the interest of safety of operation and to protect the public following the accident of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing model 737-8 ‘MAX’ aircraft on March 10th,” stated CASA.

“External reports are drawing similarities between this accident and Lion Air Flight 610 on October 29, 2018, involving the same type of aircraft.”

The suspension will be in place until appropriate safeguards are implemented.

It has been reported that 157 people perished in the crash on Sunday not far from the Addis Abba airport while five months ago, 189 people on board the Lion Air jet were killed shortly after takeoff from Jakarta.

Singapore, Japan and the US are some of the countries that have also banned the Boeing models.

Norwegian Air is contemplating compensation from Boeing for costs and lost revenue after grounding its 737 Max fleet while The Guardian reported that Garuda Indonesia said it may cancel its order for 20 of the aircraft.

Air Niugini, on the other hand, will be taking the first delivery of two Boeing 737 Max aircraft in the third quarter of 2020 and the remaining two in 2021.

PNG’s Director of Civil Aviation, Wilson Sagati, said Boeing has been in touch with Air Niugini after both the Lion Air and recent Ethiopian Airlines accident.

“Air Niugini is aware that the investigation is still underway; however they advise that Boeing has assured them that any technical or operational anomalies that are uncovered in the investigation will all be resolved well and truly before the delivery of the aircraft,” Sagati stated.
14 of 49 former Solomon Islands MPs contest as Independents

14 of 49 former Solomon Islands MPs contest as Independents

Fourteen of the 49 Members of last Parliament will contest as Independents in the April 3 National General Elections.

Former MP for West Kwaio, Peter Tom will not defend his seat in the election after he passed away last year.

The 14 MPs are Jackson Fiulaua (Central Kwara’ae), Manasseh Damukana Sogavare (East Choiseul), Duddley Kopu (Temotu Pele), Bradley Tovosia (East Guadalcanal), Standley Festus Sofu (East Kwaio), Augustine Auga (Lau Baelelea), Nesta Giro (Central Makira), John Dean Kuku (North New Georgia), Dickson Mua (Savo Russell), Dr Tautai Angikimua Kaitu’u (Rennell and Bellona), Peter Shanel Agovaka (Central Guadalcanal), Namson Tran (West Honiara), Elijah Doro Muala (South Choiseul) and Silas Kerry Vangara Tausinga (West New Georgia Vonavona).

The other 35 former MPs are contesting under different political parties.

Thirteen of them are contesting under Solomon Islands Democratic Party led by wing leader Mathew Wale.
Kadere Party led by wing leader John Maneniaru, is fielding nine former MPs.

The Democratic Alliance Party which had seven successful candidates in the 2014 election has reduced to only five MPs recontesting under its banner.

People’s Alliance Party has five also and three for United Democratic Party.

In the meantime, Jimson Tananganda who caused an upset in the 2014 National General Election is not recontesting the Gizo-Kolobangara seat. His wife, Lannelle Tananganda who replaced him in the By-Election will be recontesting it against former Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo.

Freda T Soriacomua is also recontesting the Temotu VATUD seat after being removed by an election petition.

The successful petitioner and former Member of Parliament Clay Forau is also vying to regain that seat.


March 13, 2019

Australian Prime Minister's XIII teams to play in Fiji in October

Australian Prime Minister's XIII teams to play in Fiji in October

The Australian Prime Minister's XIII men's and women's teams will take the field in Fiji at the end of 2019, marking the first official Prime Minister's XIII matches in the country.

The Australian Rugby League Commission and Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed the fixtures today, to be played at ANZ National Stadium in Suva in October.

In making the announcement, Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman, Peter Beattie reiterated a previous commitment to continue to see rugby league grow within the Pacific.

"The Prime Minister's XIII match has been a wonderful part of our game since 2005 and in recent years, has included a double-header featuring some of our leading male and female players," Mr Beattie said.

"I'm delighted the matches will continue and it’s wonderful that the Prime Minister of Fiji and Fiji Rugby League have accepted the opportunity to host the matches."

Beattie said there was no doubt that the exuberance and passion for rugby league in Papua New Guinea was key to the success of the Prime Minister's XIII fixture growing in stature.

"I attended the Prime Minister's matches in Port Moresby in October last year, and it was one of the best atmospheres I have ever encountered at a rugby league match.

"Rugby League owes a great deal to the people of Papua New Guinea and their Prime Minister and our aim is to see more rugby league players visiting Papua New Guinea and more games being played in the region over the coming years – including the Prime Minister’s XIII fixture.

"At the same time, it’s important to continue to strengthen rugby league throughout the Pacific, including playing matches, delivering community programs and supporting wellbeing and education.

"I look forward to the Prime Minister's XIII matches in Fiji later this year – and the continued growth of rugby league right throughout the Pacific."