Prime Minister and Member for Tari-Pori, Hon. James Marape, has thanked stakeholders involved in the construction of the newly-opened Tari Airport terminal in Hela Province.

Hela is an important province for the country as it hosts significant national projects in Hides Gas and PNG LNG, but has been needing restoration in its airport facilities since the airport started operating from an airstrip. Having an upgraded terminal and facilities means a much better connection and movement for people and cargo into and out of the province.

Prime Minister Marape took the opportunity to thank all those who had contributed toward the project, starting with his Minister for Transport & Civil Aviation, the department he leads, the Hela Provincial Government, the contractor, as well as the former governments of Somare and O’Neill for initiating and carrying through the Civil Aviation Development Investment Program (Tranche 1) under which the terminal was funded.

“It is now possible for our people of Hela to travel to Port Moresby, Australia or elsewhere for work, study or to visit families,” said PM Marape.

“I sincerely appreciate Minister Schnaubelt for finally giving an entirely new airport terminal for Hela Province, after what has been a long wait.

“I thank the two hardworking departmental heads – Secretary for Transport, Mr Roy Mumu, and Managing-Director of National Airports Corporation Mr Joseph Kintau for progressing this project.

“I am also grateful of Hela Governor Philip Undialu’s leadership. He stood firm to support the National Government’s work in his province by getting his provincial government to continue funding where there was a shortfall in funding.

“I also acknowledge and thank contractors, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation and Ganzu Mechanised Construction Engineering Co. Ltd, for all their efforts.”

Tari Airport facilities were first brought up for attention when, after being elected as Member for Tari-Pori in 2007 and becoming appointed as the Vice Minister for Transport & Civil Aviation in the Somare Government, PM Marape directed National Airports Corporation and the department to include Tari Airport under the CADIP Program.