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Reopening Aropa Airport to Create New Opportunities for a Bright Future on Bougainville

The opening of the Kieta (Aropa) Airport is another vital part of Papua New Guinea's national infrastructure that will create new opportunities for the men, women and children of Bougainville.

Speaking at the airport re-opening ceremony alongside Government Ministers and members of the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) last week, the Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O'Neill CMG MP, highlighted the achievement of reopening the airport as part of what he said is a bright future for Bougainville.

"This is a beautiful day for Bougainville and for Papua New Guinea," PM O'Neill said to around 3,000 people attending the opening at the airport.

During his visit to Bougainville early this year, PM O'Neill had assured the people that the National Government would work closely with the ABG to re-open the Aropa Airport.

"In January, I announced I was here to honour the National Government's commitments and deliver important projects to bring Bougainville back to what it once was," PM O'Neill said. "The National Government's main focus is to bring services to and improve the welfare of our people, especially, the generation who missed out completely." He said this is a very important day for Bougainville and Papua New Guinea because after 23 years of non-air service to Arawa. "This infrastructure can now effectively serve the people of Bougainville," PM O'Neill said. "The welfare of the people of Bougainville is a priority for our Government."

He thanked the National Airports Corporation and the Board of Directors of Air Niugini, Airlines PNG and Travel Air for a job well done and for their support towards the government. He also acknowledged the good work and commitment of past and present leaders and apologized for governments losing focus along the way. "This was to honour what our former leaders, like the Late Sir William Skate, former ABG President Joseph Kabui, Sir MoiAvei amongst others, set out to do. "This government has renewed national government commitments and will continue to honour them," PM O'Neill assured the people. He said after forming government over two years ago, the National Government strongly agreed to re-engage and strengthen relations with Bougainville. PM O'Neill also assured the people that the National Government would continue to honour every word in the peace agreement.


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