Category Archives: Travel

Locked Down

Post Courier 

Flights in and out of Kagamuga Airport in Mount Hagen, Western Highlands province, have been disrupted by candidates contesting the Hagen open seat.

Concern for public safety has also prompted major carrier Air Niugini to cancel its service to neighbouring Enga province.

The 12 Hagen candidates, and their supporters, converged outside Kagamuga airport yesterday to protest the appointment of the electorate’s returning officer and carry out their threat to close the airport issued seven days ago.

It is not known whether disruptions would continue today.

Transporting of police personnel who are on transit in Port Moresby for National Election operations in the Highlands are affected, says Police Commissioner Gari Baki. See story, page 2

National Airports Corporation acting managing director Richard Yopo said yesterday the Electoral Commission matter was unrelated to airport operations or the aviation industry and such actions taken and threats by the 12 candidates in Mt Hagen were offences under the Civil Aviation Act.

“The issue does not do anyone any good. It only affects the smooth flow of passengers and the flow of vital cargo from and within our towns and cities.”

He said the candidates were warned last Friday that they were breaking or would be in breach of law if they were to proceed with their planned action.

Yesterday, the NAC had to scale down its operations and included its sister aviation entity PNG Air Services which controls air traffic.

Mr Yopo said that airline operators like Air Niugini, MAF, HeviLift, Airlines PNG and Heli Solutions did their own security assessment also had to cancel some of their later flights yesterday.

“Safety of the public, staff and the assets and facilities is something we all are not about to compromise,” he said.

Two of the twelve candidates, Luke Lukice Mathew and James Yoka said they are closing the airport because Mr Gamato had failed to respond to their petition in the past week.

Mr Yoka said their petition which Electoral Commissioner Patilias Gamato has not responded to was to either remove the returning officer and the assistant returning officer or to swap the two officers with other electorates in the province. Eastern end Assistant Police Commissioner for Highlands Nema Mondia said the candidates have breached the Civil Aviation Act by closing the airport and that was not right.

However, Supt Mondia said a candidate assured him that the airport will be opened starting today.

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PM highlights irony of Micah’s Apec snubbing

The National

IT is ironic that Kavieng will host an Apec tourism ministers’ conference next year, and yet Kavieng MP Ben Micah wants to cancel the Apec summit, the prime minister says.
Speaking to supporters at Ela Beach on Tuesday, Micah said he will  cancel the summit if his People’s Progress Party forms the next government after this month’s general election.
“The world is looking at us,” O’Neill told hundreds of people at Cartaret Oval in Kavieng during a campaign rally for People’s National Congress candidate Martin Aini yesterday.
“Your member was in Port Moresby and gathering all kinds of people together (at Ela Beach), and telling them that he will cancel Apec.
“You must know that in Apec 2018, tourism ministers with more than 200 delegates, will be here in Kavieng.
“We try to promote tourism, and here, we will have tourism ministers from 21 of the most-powerful countries in the world here in Kavieng.
“What a great opportunity for you to display the tourism potential of Kavieng and New Ireland.
“But here, we have someone who is painim toktok (looking for something to say).
“Em painim toktok (he is looking for something to say).
“We are talking about the good of the country, where education is going to go, where health is going to go, don’t talk about self-interest and ego.
“Ego never achieves anything, pride never achieves anything – it only causes problems.”
O’Neill said Aini, who was Kveing MP before losing to Micah in the 2012 general election, will be their next representative in Parliament.
“Martin Aini doesn’t have a house in Singapore, Martin Aini doesn’t have a house in Australia, Martin Aini lives in the village,” he said.
“This is the kind of leader that we want.”

Queensland Rangers to help Kokoda Track Rangers

BY: Loop Author

Over recent weeks, Kokoda Track Authority (KTA) rangers have hosted rangers from the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) to conduct regeneration and conservation activities at Efogi on the Kokoda Track.

This is the first of a series of projects where Queensland rangers will join with KTA rangers and local communities in a capacity-building arrangement.

Rangers and communities will share and apply knowledge and skills to protect the fabric of this historic place and make the Kokoda Track safer for trekkers and local people who use it every day.

The partnership, which also commemorates the 75th anniversary of the WWII Kokoda Campaign, was signed on March 2, 2017 in Brisbane by Environment Minister John Pundari, Tourism Minister Tobias Kulang and Queensland Environment Minister Steven Miles.


At the signing ceremony, Minister Kulang said that Kokoda was a special place to Australia and Papua New Guinea. Minister Pundari said the work would not be easy but would be very rewarding. It has proved to be very rewarding indeed.

QPWS Ranger Dave Fuller said it was an honour to learn local land management techniques from KTA rangers and members of the community directly.

While acknowledging the many challenges, Fuller said it was encouraging to see just how good the track condition was around Efogi.

“It is amazing just how good the track condition is considering the track is greater than 75 years old and hosts thousands of trekkers and porters along it during the wetter part of the year. The erosion levels are similar to what I have experienced in Australia but without the intense use for that time of year.”

QPWS Ranger Carol Kinnaird, who works with Indigenous land managers and rangers in Queensland, said there were many similarities between the way PNG landowners and Indigenous Australians looked after their land sustainably.

“Apart from the very high mountains, the conditions on the Kokoda Track are very similar to the rainforest conditions in North Queensland, and the local traditional landowners in both places have very similar approaches when it comes to looking after their country,” she said.

At a reception to honour the new partnership, Australian High Commissioner Bruce Davis said the program represented another brick in the wall of the comprehensive and dynamic relationship between Australia and Papua New Guinea.

Kokoda Track Authority CEO James Enage echoed the sentiment, reflecting on the value of the ongoing partnership between Australia and the KTA to work to ensure the Kokoda Track is well managed and safe for trekkers and local communities.

The ranger partnership is part of the Kokoda Initiative, a PNG-led arrangement between both countries to protect the unique natural, cultural and historic values of the Kokoda Track region.


Picture: KTA ranger Donald and QPWS ranger Alex repairing rock steps. Picture by Australian High Commission Public Affairs.


The Department of Labour and Immigration will soon come under the spotlight for carelessly issuing work permits and visas to foreigners entering the country.

Northern Governor Gary Juffa, told NBC News, he will lay a criminal complaint against officials within labour department, and immigration for issuing work permits and visas without following due process.


Governor Juffa said such attitude by government agencies is depriving locals from simple labour type of employment like drivers and cleaners which is not right. “Just last week I confiscated three passports, which I then handed to the police commander, of three expatriates who could not speak a word of English.

“Their visas indicate that the company they work for is based in Moresby, what were they doing here? Were they communicating through a translator? That they were going to Kokoda to work there! Did their visa allow them to work there? “How did they get their work permits,” he asked. Mr Juffa said he will write a letter of complaint to the police as well as the Labour and Immigration departments.

“We are just issuing visas, work permits without proper checks and balances,” Mr Juffa alleged. “A lot of foreigners are taking up positions that Papua New Guineans could have.

PNG can be a tourism hub

PAPUA New Guinea can be one of the best tourism hubs for the Southwest Pacific region if more emphasis is placed on air and sea routes.

And PNG could earn an estimated K20 billion each year if its travel and tourism industry was given priority.

Philippines under secretary for Transportation Artemio U. Tuazon, Jr and Indonesian officials presenting their country’s reports said they stand ready to assist PNG as one of the members of the Southwest Pacific region.


Mr Tuazon said that travel and tourism industry in his country contributed a total of P1.43 trillion or 10.6 per cent to the Philippines GDP in 2015 (World Travel and Tourism Council).

He said there was an immediate attention to improve market access, connectivity and destination infrastructure improvement and rehabilitation of existing airports, improvement of passenger terminal buildings, expansion of apron and landside areas, construction of new runways, asphalt overlay of runways, improvement of other domestic airports to have night-rated facilities, conversion of domestic airports to international airports, tourism destination areas and provision of new air traffic control equipment to integrate with communication navigation surveillance/air traffic management (CNS/ATM) system to name a few.

“PNG needs to expand capacity and improve levels of service to international standards, upgrade its cruise tourism ports, construct additional roll-on roll-off ramps, wharf expansion, upgrading of bollards to accommodate big cruise ships,” he said.

“But all these cannot be achieved in a year, you need political leadership, the finance and many negotiations including the effort from responsible stakeholders. But PNG is rich and just needs to prioritise.

“We can help by sharing ideas and of course we can help in other sectors with counterparts,” he said.

World standard airport security


AIRPORT security at Port Moresby Jackson International Airport and other major centres have world standard closed circuit TV systems which cover the whole aerodrome perimeter, the National Airports Corporation (NAC) says.

It says there were more than 200 CCTV cameras installed at Jackson International Airport including the domestic terminal with high speed pan tilt zoom (PTZ) and fixed dome (FD) CCTV systems both indoor and outdoor.

The NAC said it also had programs in place to improve police presence and general security surveillance.

airport security

NAC executives said that the organisation was also planning to install another worldclass system that would not only provide security, safety and convenience for passengers and car park customers, but also generate revenue that was necessary for the sustenance of its airport facilities.

“In addition to CCTV surveillance at the Port Moresby International airport (PMIA) car parks, NAC will also provide covered walkways for car park users and secure gated parking for travellers who wish to leave their vehicles at the airport overnight or for long term,” the NAC said. “Customers will be able to pay for parking using their credit cards as well as book a parking slot online through the new PMIA website when the system comes into operation in the future.”

NAC chief executive officer Richard Yopo said the NAB board will release a statement later today on NAC operations.

“We are renovating a new office space for the police and the AFP.

“We will continue to support the airport police and continue to resource them,” he said.

“There are some projects that are running now and those are aimed at improving security surveillance and awareness and random security checks at the airport public car parks and road access around the airport precinct, reclaiming land alienated from the airport, removal of illegal settlers among other initiatives.

This was due to statements from the Opposition, other critics and the public that PNG’s international gateway was not fully serviced to cater for terrorism and security threats from outsiders and within.

PNG and USA to link their alumni

THE USA international Exchange Alumni website registration was been announced by the US Government recently.

The International Exchange Alumni is a dynamic and interactive networking website for all past and current participants of government-sponsored exchange programs.

Upon registration, members who have been on exchange programs to the US can build on their exchange experience and explore all the resources available to you as a member of the site.

This allows persons who have studied abroad to engage in mutually beneficial exchanges with like minded scholars from the US and or around the world.

The International Exchange Alumni Website is a key resource for alumni who wish to advance their efforts for themselves, their communities and the world as a whole.

The site gives individuals a global platform for innovation.

Membership to this exclusive online community grants access to:

*$33 billion worth of grant opportunities;

*Job listings posted by and for alumni;

*Exclusive video web chats with VIPs; and

*20,000 online magazines and newspapers.

Members can also network with fellow alumni around the world; Recruit fellow alumni for projects and competitions; Find the latest research in your field; Develop plans for your alumni association, or find an association to join; Share your experience with a global audience; and Read alumni success stories, perspectives, and ideas.

Registered participants can find the Link: for further information.

Members can also network with fellow alumni around the world; recruit fellow alumni for projects and competitions; find the latest research in your field; develop plans for your alumni association, or find an association to join; share your experience with a global audience; and read alumni success stories, perspectives, and ideas.

online photo by colour box …


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