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Background

The aviation industry in Papua New Guinea plays a vital role in the changing economic, political and social development and life of the country as alternative forms of transport are often not available. Given the complexity of PNG’s topography and terrain that presents major constraints to road constructions, air transport for many parts of PNG is (and will continue to be) the only possible means that link them to the main centres of the country.

The current situation is that the physical conditions of the 22 national airports (14 jet airports and 8 non-jet airports) have deteriorated over the years to an unacceptable state, thus breaching the compliance requirements of ICAO for safety and security of the airports. This situation is further worsened by the introduction of Fokker 100 aircraft, particularly on the pavement of most of the airports. The Fokker 100 aircrafts are much heavier than the type of aircrafts the pavements were originally built for.

If the Government does not take appropriate remedial actions now, the current situation will get worse in future with accumulated cost implications. It will also cause the ICAO to instruct the Government to close all these airports. Hence, there will be significant negative social, economic, and political implications generated thereby affecting the national life of PNG.

Realizing that, the National Government in March 2009, formally requested the ADB to support it with financial assistance to enable it to address/redress its development challenges in the civil aviation sector. The Bank responded positively to the request by approving and providing a small-scale technical assistance grant of US$225, 000 in April 2009 to design the proposed Program. The design was completed and had been appraised and approved by the Government, hence the birth of CADIP.