Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Australia have come to terms on the revised Air Services Agreement (ASA) between them.
The pact – which was signed by Transport Ministers Westly Nukundj for PNG and Darren Chester from Australia – would bring to fore new innovations in safety, security along with economic opportunities at the numerous entry points that are serviced between the PNG and Australia.
The agreement, signed by Transport Ministers Westly Nukundj for PNG and Darren Chester from Australia, would result in new approaches to safety, security, and economic opportunities applied in the various entry points that are serviced between the two countries.
Transport Secretary Roy Mumu remarked that the ASA signing has been a huge milestone for the country under the recently concluded APEC Transport Minister gathering.
“This PNG-Australia air service agreement signing is to basically formalize the revised agreement that replaced the 1980 agreement,” said Mumu.
“So the discussions are from the initial memorandum of understanding that formalized this between our two senior officers in 2010. A lot of these technicalities have been agreed to. What the two ministers signed is basically the formalities that encompasses issues associated with aviation safety and security,” he added.
Mumu explained that part of the pact comprised of Australia permitting PNG flights to other airports that can take on international flights. He said the existing capacity of 2540 passengers a week to Australia was still underutilized.
“As you are aware Air Niugini recently opened up access into Townsville and that is part of the arrangement,” stated Mumu.
“This arrangement was made when Qantas withdrew from the Port Moresby-Cairns route and now focused on the Brisbane-Port Moresby route now serviced by Qantas and Virgin Australia. Likewise, Air Niugini, has now increased the frequency from Brisbane to Port Moresby flights.”
“Also schedules associated with this agreement are identification of possible points of entry for PNG ports like Alotau, Kokopo (Tokua) and Mt Hagan. These agreement provides for that opportunity,” Mumu continued.