Chairman of the land owning group of Lomlom airport, Luke Paul has questioned why the government continues to delay the opening of the Lomlom airport.
Speaking to the Solomon star this week, he said people of Reef islands are urging the national government open the airport, the sooner the better.
He said with the end year holiday now approaching, travelling by boat around Temotu province is not safe because of bad weather.
“Therefore it is important for the government to quickly open the airport to ensure services are delivered to the people of Reef islands.
“National General Elections is just around the corner and the officers travelling down to Reef islands need flights as the reliable means for transport.
“Also medical and police officers and other public servants need to travel for emergencies to do their work.
“We understand the airport has been completed, while waiting for the opening and flights will commence to Reef Islands”
Chief Executive Officer of Solomon Airline told the Solomon Star yesterday that the airport is owned by the state and civil aviation has the right to made comments on that.
However Director of Civil Aviation Authority of Solomon Islands (CAASI) George Satu said the government is committed to ensure the opening will happen.
He confirmed to the Solomon Star yesterday, funds allocated for the opening of the airport has already been exhausted, but if funds are ready then the ministry responsible will open the airport.
“Inspection has been done by engineers of the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Aviation,” Satu said.
Satu said the last stage is for flight testing on the airport, but it depends on the availability of aircraft.
He calls on the people of Reef islands not to politicize the airport as the country is now in a campaign period leading up to the national general election.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Aviation and Communication Frances Lomo added its not right to claim that government funds have been exhausted.
Infact funds are still available and the ministry is applying for the contingency warrant and once ministry of finance and treasury approves it then official opening will eventuate.
He explained under the Financial Instruction Act (FIA) government have sufficient funds to cater for government to deliver its services before the financial year ends in December.
“Theres hope government will release funds that would cater for the opening,” Lomo said.
Lomo said the test flight is the responsibility of Aviation and it is an important technical requirement before any flight service starts.
By ELLIOT DAWEA