West Sepik Airport To Accept International Flights

by PNG Business News - June 13, 2022

Photo credit: Asian Development Bank

International flights will begin shortly at the new K28.8 million Vanimo Airport in West Sepik Province. This new facility was recently inaugurated.

The government and the Asian Development Bank are contributing K70.1 million to renovate the airport terminal, runway, and other infrastructure (ADB).

The new Vanimo terminal and its facilities anticipate hosting international flights in the future, with West Sepik Province being PNG's nearest gateway to Asia.

The major goal of the Vanimo airport improvement project, according to NAC managing director Rex Kiponge, is to assure safety and security compliance as well as operational certification to ICAO standards and recommended practises as well as the PNG Civil Aviation Safety Authority Rules Part 139.

“Today is special, because it marks the closing of a chapter and the beginning of a new one for Vanimo, the people of West Sepik Province and Papua New Guinea.

“For too long, the people of West Sepik and air traveling passengers, transitioning at Vanimo Airport were using a smaller terminal to process your flight check in, collect your boarding passes and then board your flight,” Mr Kiponge said.

He explained that the original Vanimo Airport had a runway strip length of 1660 metres, which was sufficient for smaller planes, but that as of November 2020, the new expanded runway length was increased to 1960 metres, allowing it to accommodate larger planes with additional seating capacity.

Mr Kiponge said the new terminal building at Vanimo Airport was built to NAC's standard Type B design, has more room than the previous one, and can handle up to 100 passengers at the same time.

“Unlike the previous old terminal building, the new terminal is modern looking, with facilities to give you are more comfortable experience as you enter.

“These include; departure and arrival lounges; counters for passenger Check-Ins; a conveyor belt for baggage at the arrival lounge; screening machines for baggage; toilet facilities; a kiosk, its fully air-conditioned and other services,” he said.

Mr Kiponge urged the inhabitants of West Sepik Province and the travelling public to look after the new terminal building and its facilities, as it is an asset for the province in terms of attracting additional development, considering Vanimo's proximity to the Indonesian border.

“Vanimo Airport is located as our border airport, sharing international border with Indonesia.

“Therefore, will continue to work with our border control authorities such as PNGDF, PNG Customs and related agencies with the focus on improving our border control efforts, international trade and compliance in the best interest of our people,” he said.

 

Reference: Kamus, Maxine. Post-Courier (7 June 2022). “New Airport Gateway To Asia”. ​​​



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