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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, July 7) - Air Niugini will resume flights into Wapenamanda in Enga Province this month, three years after the airport was closed down.

Civil Aviation Authority chief executive director Andrew Ogil confirmed this, saying the first flight would touch down on July 18.

Ogil said the reopening of the airport gave an opportunity for Engans to boost the economy in the province and urged them not to disrupt this service.

"Enga was the only province that did not have direct links with Port Moresby for the last three years and I am personally happy for the reopening of the airport," he said.

Ogil said the first flight was scheduled to touch down at the beginning of this month but was delayed.

"The airport needed to be tidied up before the first flight and the delay was necessary," he said.

He said the province is tapping into the tourism industry and the reopening of the airport was a way forward for the province.

"The reopening is vital for the province and I urge all Engans to utilize and look after the service. Engans have great potential in the tourism industry and I personally think it is very important for all Engans to make use of the service," said Ogil.

Ogil said he was happy with national and provincial leaders who took their time to ensure that the airport was reopened.

Provincial works coordinator Charles Barna said the provincial government has spent about K300,000 (US$93,150) to rehabilitate the airport.

Air Niugini Wabag confirmed that there would be three weekly fights into the province.

July 8, 2004

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