19 Dec 2013

Need for govt acquisition of airport land urgent: Solomon Airlines

7:12 am on 19 December 2013

Solomon Islands' national airline says the sooner the government acquires all airport land the better.

Aggrieved landowners have closed the airport at Auki in Malaita province and Solomon Airlines' operations and commercial general manager says last time it took almost a year to get it reopened.

Gus Kraus says the airport on Bellona was closed briefly recently after a landowner threatened the airline and now the Temotu province airstrip is also closed.

He says in such instances the airline is at the absolute mercy of the landowners but he understands the government has been trying to secure ownership of all airstrip land.

"There are some airstrips that are still landowner-based airstrips and you know the quicker the government can secure that and have a relatively strong maintenance contract the better will everybody be in the future of the country."

Solomon Airlines' Gus Kraus.