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The former chairman for National Airports Corporation, Rex Paki says Enga needs a modern airport.

Upgraded Wapenamanda Airport. Image by Rebel Media Ltd.

Thus, he said, this is to accommodate the developments and other prospects in the province.

Further, he commended Enga Governor Chief Sir Peter Ipatas and other leaders for the upgraded Wapenamanda Airport. However, he said the outstanding challenges of the airport still remain unresolved. https://postcourier.com.pg/wapenamanda-airport-upgrade-confirmed-next-year/

The upgraded airport is still not compatible to cater for bigger planes like Fokker 100.

Rex Paki, former NAC chairman

In light of the Porgera Gold Mine reopening, Enga needs a morden airport, he said.


EPG should negotiate for a new Modern Airport for Enga with the State and Donor Agencies like ADB. The current Wapenamanda Airport does not serve Enga’s economic and tourism interests well. That is particularly when Engans are expanding their economic base in Mining, Health, Properties, Education, Agriculture and Tourism.

Rex Paki


EPG and State have three options, he said, which he directed Civil Aviation Authority management (now NAC) to look into. Thus, that is to improve the facility when he was its Chairman.

The options available are:

  1. First, expand current Wapenamanda Airport – CAA (now NAC) management advised me that the only way this is possible, apart from relocating the schools, houses etc… is if we knock down the two or three big Itokan mountains. These mountains currently block bigger aircrafts from flying into an expanded Wapenamanda Airport. It will cost a lot of money to do that;
  2. Second, look for another suitable Land to build a new MODERN AIRPORT. Possible alternative locations at Wapenamanda, Birip, Rakamanda, Surinki, Ambum, Wabag etc… we looked at them. The ADB Loan Funding in phase 2, can fund this. I negotiated the Phase 1 ADB K3 billion funding, under the political leadership of Don Polye, called the CADIP Funding. The government and responsible Ministers currently use it throughout the country to rehabitate all the airports. They include the building of current Hagen Modern Airport/Terminal, and; https://pngsun.com/amp/2021/04/20/polye-sworn-in-as-member/
  3. Finally, continue with existing Airport- if Govt has to stop the fly-in fly-out of Porgera and other Gold Mines like Mt Kare in Enga and build a modern township in Enga or Porgera, we need a new MODERN AIRPORT.


He said he strongly suggested EPG directs the Enga Provincial Administrator and his Team to look into the above three options. Then get relevant authorities such as NAC, Department of Transport and CASA, to assist frame a Project Proposal to ADB through NAC for the Phase 2 Funding.

This Project Proposal can be part and parcel of the overall plan by State for Enga to be an Authonomous Province. Our National MPs and Ministers are now well placed to assist with this investment. Remember, WITHOUT A good road and airport network, Enga will NOT be able to reach its FULL ECONOMIC POTENTIAL. With a good modern well planned Airport, you can build a township/city around it.

Rex Paki

Building Airports takes 5 to 15 years; hence, sooner we start the planning process now, the better if we want to improve the current situation and stop continuous risky travels to Hagen. Porgera has and will contribute substantially to over 5% of the National GDP of the economy and it is economically justified for Engans to have a Modern Airport.

Rex Paki


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