Angry landowners shut down Buka airport in Bougainville on Wednesday, disrupting scheduled flights and holding the travelling public to ransom.
The Post Courier reports that landowners from nearby Ieta village, under the leadership of Rungunahana Incorporated Land Group chairman, Herman Tugen, stormed the airport at around 9am.
The landowners overturned luggage trolleys, parked their vehicles on the runway and sent a message to the authorities of the airport’s closure.
The Landowner group is wracked by an internal dispute and divided along clan lines.
The vice-chairman of the group Raymond Hakena told the Post Courier he was extremely disappointed with the airport’s closure.
He was to have arrived in Buka yesterday in preparation for the clan reconciliation.