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Construction of Mendi Airport at 60%

by PNG Business News - May 18, 2021

The redevelopment of the Mendi airport is underway, according to the National Airports Corporation Limited, and is 60 per cent complete.

The project is part of the Civil Aviation Development Investment Program, or CADIP, which funds a range of impact aviation programs. Following a media story, the National Airports Corporation clarified the status of the airport's growth.

According to the study, work is still going on, with 60 per cent of the physical improvements made so far.

The Aviation State Agency has stated that there are no landowner disputes and that the airport redevelopment is taking place within the designated aerodrome district.

Sinohydro Corporation Limited, the construction company, is currently addressing non-conformance problems with the consistency of materials used previously on the runway pavement.

Installation of a security fence, construction of an H65 standard house for the NAC Airport Safety Officer, construction of a tractor shed, and construction of the ASO's office are among the other projects that have been completed to date.

The new terminal building is now under renovation, with paving work scheduled to be finished in September.

The upgrade project at Mendi Airport is worth K27.7 million.



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Subprojects funded by the Asian Development Bank's multi-tranche funding facility loans for the Civil Aviation Development Investment Program (CADIP) advancement are on schedule to be completed within the facility's availability span. The multi-tranche financing facility (MFF) is one of the ADB's modalities for assisting clients with their medium to long-term investment program or schedule. Bashirullah Khpalwan, the project team leader for the ADB-backed Civil Aviation Development Investment Program, said CADIP is a multi-tranche financing facility that has been introduced in three tranches as planned. CADIP is scheduled to be completed on November 24, 2021. The 21 national airports that handle the majority of the country's domestic passenger and freight traffic are the target of this investment program. He stated that CADIP's Tranche 1 was approved on December 1, 2009, and was completed in December 2015, while Tranche 2 was approved on November 25, 2013, and has made more than 95% implementation progress and is expected to be completed in September. Tranche 3, the MFF's final tranche, was approved on March 2, 2017, and all contracts have been awarded, with the exception of Kavieng Airport, which will be awarded in 2020. “The Kavieng Airport is on a critical path to completion and all other sub-projects under Tranche 3 are on track for completion as well within the MFF availability period of November 24, 2021. The executing agency for CADIP, the National Airports Corporation (NAC), has agreed with the civil works contractor in Kavieng to an accelerated schedule to complete the entire scope of the project within the availability of the MFF,” he said. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and its accompanying lockdown, the CADIP team and civil works contractors aim to make strides in 2020, with positive results so far. In terms of cumulative growth and milestones, CADIP Tranche 3 has proved to be one of the highest performing projects in the PARD portfolio in 2020. The investment scheme, according to Mr Khpalwan, is closely associated with the PNG Government's Development Strategic Plan 2010–2030 and National Transport Strategy, which both recognize essential air connectivity to rural areas as a national priority.

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PNG Business News - May 10, 2021

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The Southern Highlands Province's Mendi Airport Redevelopment scheme has been placed on hold. The redevelopment of the airport, which was scheduled to be completed in October this year, has been placed on hold, according to NAC acting managing director Rex Kiponge, due to the contractor not having the right materials for the runway and a disagreement among the landowners in Mendi. According to Kiponge, he visited the project site last week to do an inspection, and NAC discovered that the materials used to build the airport's runway were not the correct materials because the contractors struggled on their end, so the contractors were advised to re-do the runway. “I have to admit, we faced a lot of issues not only in Mendi Airport redevelopment but through all the airports under the CADIP Program. The contractors will redo the airport runway and the work on the terminal has not started as yet,” he said. According to Kiponge, there have been several landowner disputes that the provincial government is responsible for resolving. He said that he is eager to resolve the issues and complete the project under CADIP before the Asian Development Bank's deadline of November 24, 2021. The Mendi Airport Redevelopment project includes upgrading the current runway pavement to accommodate Dash 8-400 (Q400) and ATR 0-70 aircraft, as well as the construction of a new terminal building and other developments such as NAC Staff quarters, a tractor shed, an engineer site office, and a powerhouse. CADIP 1 is a sub-project funded by the Asian Development Bank's multi-tranche funding facility loans, and the ADB needs to see proper progress on all project sites completed during the availability timeframe before moving on to CADIP 2, which is scheduled for 2022-2024.

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PNG Business News - May 13, 2021

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The National Airports Corporation plans to devote more resources to the redevelopment projects at Kavieng, Tari, and Mendi airports as part of the Civil Aviation Growth Investment Program. With the exception of three airports, all airports under the CADIP program are on a budget, according to NAC acting managing director Rex Kiponge. Apart from Jackson Airport in Port Moresby, Kiponge claims that the majority of the country's airports are unable to handle the newly launched F100 aircraft. “The introduction of F100 aircraft has deteriorated the condition of runways in PNG. Under CADIP, fencing and runway length deficiencies will now meet the F100 and ICAO requirements. CADIP was implemented to meet the minimum PNG Civil Aviation Rules (CARS) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards and recommended practices in all the 22 airports in the country. “The F100 aircraft require a minimum runway length of 1900 metres –– only three airports meet this requirement.” The F100 will be able to land at 12 airports thanks to a CADIP runway length upgrade. Port Moresby is now the only province that meets the operating criteria for F100 planes. Standby control, security fencing, apron parking, runway, taxiway, and apron strength, and a runway length suitable for takeoff at maximum payload are all part of the 22 airport upgrades. Kiponge recently visited the three airports and expressed his satisfaction with the development. Contractors have already finished construction on the security fence at Kavieng Airport, and work on the runway extension is going well. Once the runway extension is complete, the contractors can begin work on the terminal. He mentioned that the runway extension at Tari Airport is complete, and contractors are currently working on the apron, which will be finished until the runway extension is completed. Owing to the contractors' inability to obtain materials for the runway at Mendi Airport, NAC has requested that they redo the runway before moving on to the other areas. “Despite whatever issues within NAC, I will ensure that all 22 NAC’s airports undergoing upgrading will be completed and I will put in a lot of efforts and focus to makes certain work is done well and completed,” Kiponge said.


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