SEVERAL landowners in Munda, Western Province, are requesting the national government to settle money it owed them for the use of their land for aviation purposes.
Spokesman Dennis Mamu said the Government previously asked those who own blocks of lands on the eastern landing approach of Munda International Airport to cut down tall fruit trees on their land.
Mamu said landowners obliged as part of their responsibility to opening up Munda Airport to international flights.
“The first group of landowners have already received their payments,” he said.
“But the majority are still waiting,” Mamu claimed during a meeting the landowners conducted recently to discuss the matter.
He said they have willingly cut down their fruit and other trees that used to provide them shades so the government must not delay their payments.
Mamu said during the process of clearing up the airport approach, a Forestry officer and an Aviation officer there to supervise the exercise.
“The forestry office valued the threes, while the Aviation officer records everything for purposes of payment.
“So we know all records were sent to Honiara for processing and payments.
“It’s been seven months now and while the first group received their payment, the majority are still waiting.
“We are therefore requesting the Aviation Department to fast-track our payments,” Mamu said.
He urged the Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Aviation and Communications to re-visit Munda and pay the landowners.
Munda became the country’s second international airport in May this year when Solomon Airlines made its first international landing there.
The national carrier has weekly schedules to Munda Airport, flying in every Saturday from Brisbane, Australia.
Comments are being sought from Aviation officials.
– By Francis Talasasa