Traveling passengers Temotu province are calling on the government, aviation, Solomon Airlines and Temotu province to quickly step in to allow flights operating on the new Lomlom airport in Reef Islands.
The call was made following the suspension of flight operated by Dash-8 to Lata due to the bad state of Lata airport.
A concern man from Reef said, the disruption has caused a lot of inconvenience to the traveling public.
“Many passengers are still stranded in Honiara while returning passengers in lata are praying for their return.”
Meanwhile Solomon Airlines over the weekend confirmed it will cease its Dash 8 operations to Santa Cruz until further notice.
General Manager for Commercial and Operations Gus Kraus stated that “the deteriorating state of the western end of the airport run way surface is worsening due to continuous rains, unregulated use by private vehicles as well overgrown grasses making it water logged.
“Engineering assessment on the poor state of the airstrip surface not only indicated the increased risk of damaging the aircrafts tyres but also it makes it difficult for pilots to guarantee safe dash 8 landings and maneuvering whilst on the ground,” Mr Kraus said.
“First and foremost, Safety is Solomon Airlines’ uncompromising priority and that it is in the best interest of the travelling public as well as our aircrafts that we have to make such a bold decision,” he said.
In the interim, the Twin Otter aircraft with shorter landing range capabilities will be engaged to ensure there is limited interruptions to r services to Santa Cruz until required maintenance work to the airstrip is done and certified by Civil Aviation Authority before the recommencement of Dash 8 services, Mr Gus added.
This matter has now been relayed to Civil Aviation Authority and relevant stakeholders to ensure that immediate corrective actions are put in place to ensure that Dash 8 service resumes as soon as practicable.
Solomon Airlines wishes to apologise to its valued customers for any inconvenience this interim measure may cause but added that safety is paramount.
Passengers to and from Santa Cruz are advised to consult the airlines offices and website for further updates.