The Papua New Guinea Defence Force has formally handed over facilities at the Vanimo Forward Operating Base (FOB) to the National Airports Corporation for refurbishment.
This significant event took place on the 17th of July 2021 following a Memorandum of Agreement which was signed by the two entities two weeks ago in Port Moresby.
NAC did not have enough land to build the new terminal building for Vanimo Airport, hence the trade – off agreement was negotiated which resulted in the PNGDF transferring a portion of its land (10,000sq.m) to NAC in exchange for the refurbishment of PNGDF’s existing offices, accommodation, mess, ablution facilities and sewer systems, at a cost of K3.0 million.
NAC has contracted Shepherd Welding Services and Multi Plus Landscaping companies to carry out refurbishment work which is anticipated to be completed by November 2021.
In handing over the facilities, Chief of the PNG Defence Force, Major General Gilbert Toropo, thanked NAC for the partnership and said given the economic challenges that the country is facing, there is lack of funding to rehabilitate most of PNGDF’s facilities at the PNGDF
Vanimo FOB. Therefore, he said the support that NAC is providing to the PNGDF is significant in this regard.
“Vanimo FOB is a significant base for the PNGDF in providing security along the border of PNG and Indonesia. Hence, this redevelopment to the facilities is a great support by the National Airports Corporation,” Major General Gilbert Toropo said.
Mr. Rex Kiponge, Acting Managing Director of the National Airports Corporation also thanked PNGDF for the partnership and importantly for the land traded – off to build the new terminal building for the Vanimo Airport.
“Sandaun Province, is the gateway to Asia as it shares a geographical border with Indonesia and in the future, Vanimo Airport will become one of the major airports in PNG to accommodate international flights. Hence, the extension to the airport’s runway and the new terminal building complements those future plans,” Mr Kiponge said.
Mr. Kiponge added that NAC has already commenced construction of the new terminal building on the portion of land traded – off by the PNGDF, which is anticipated to be complete by November 2021