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National Airports

Port Moresby International Airport (PMIA or Jackson’s) is currently the only airport in Papua New Guinea supporting international regular scheduled passenger services, although both Daru and Wewak are denoted as international airports and, outside of PMIA, Mount Hagen receives the most international passengers associated with international direct charters for the mining ventures. PMIA currently accommodates aircraft up to B767-300 size, the second tier of airports F-100, although only designed to F-80, and the third tier supports Dash-8.

PMIA and a further 20 national airports are operated by the National Airports Corporation (NAC). A further six airports are certified in accordance with ICAO Annex 14 and PNG Civil Aviation Rules; these include three airports associated with mining (Ok Tedi – Tabubil and Lihir - Kunaye) and oil & gas (Kutubu – Moro) and three ex-national airports now operated by provincial governments (Milne Bay PG - Kiriwina and Misima, and Gulf PG - Kikori).

Not included in the list of national airports is Kieta (Aropa), which until 1989 was the main airport for Bougainville and more centrally located close to the provincial capital Arawa, than Buka airport which is on Buka Island at the extreme north of the province. Another airport located away from the centre of its province is Daru which, although the capital of Western Province, is located on an island off its south coast. All other airports are relatively well located with respect to both the provincial capital and the main economic activity of the province.

Characteristics of ICAO recognised airports  
Port Moresby IA NCD NAC 2,810 45 B767-300 24h
Nadzab (Lae) Morobe NAC 2,500 30 F100 24h
Mount Hagen WHP NAC 1,778 30 F100 daytime
Tokua (Rabaul) ENB NAC 2,250 30 F100 24h
Madang Madang NAC 1,570 30 F100 24h
Hoskins (Kimbe) WNB NAC 1,645 30 Dash-8 daytime
Wewak ESP NAC 1,629 30 F100 24h
Goroka EHP NAC 1,900 30 Dash-8 daytime
Kavieng NIP NAC 1,763 30 F100 24h
Moro (Kutubu) SHP CNG 1,750 30   daytime
Gurney (Alotau) MBP NAC 1,559 30 Dash-8 daytime
Buka ARB NAC 1,735 30 F100 daytime
Girua (Popondetta) Oro NAC 1,870 30 Dash-8 daytime
Kunaye (Lihir) NIP MC 1,584 30   24h
Momote (Lorengau) Manus NAC 1,260 45 F100 24h
Tabubil Western OTML 1,340 23   daytime
Kiunga Western NAC 1,460 30 Dash-8 daytime
Vanimo Sandaun NAC 944 30   daytime
Daru Western NAC 1,057 30 Dash-8 daytime
Tari SHP NAC 1,820 22   24h
Mendi SHP NAC 1,540 23 Dash-8 daytime
Chimbu Simbu NAC 705 23 Dash-8 daytime
Misima MBP NAC 1,200 30   daytime
Kerema Gulf NAC 1,320 18 F100 daytime
Kikori Gulf Gulf PG 1,630 18   daytime
Wapenamanda Enga NAC 1,230 23 Dash-8 daytime
Kiriwina MBP MBPG 1,760 30   daytime


Other Airports and Rural Airstrips

 Apart from the 27 ICAO certified and licensed airports; there are a large number of smaller airports, ranging in strip length from as long as 1,700m down to small rural airstrips as short as 450m. The total number identified from various sources, including airstrips that are now listed as inactive, is over 600. The number currently listed as “active” from provincial data sources is over 400.

Of these active airports and airstrips, 11 (3%) are still identified as belonging to the national government through the Civil Aviation Act. A further 92 (22%) are under provincial government ownership, including a number that have been transferred from national government responsibility in the past.

The largest group, by form of ownership, is airstrips under the nominal ownership of village groups (31%), followed by missions and churches (21%). Commercial organisations including timber, mining, oil and gas and general business organisations account for 10%. By geographical distribution, Western, Sandaun and Morobe provinces contain the largest numbers.

There are up to 200 inactive airstrips, including many that are redundant because of road connections, or other airstrips opening close by, or have been developed for specific purposes but are now obsolete and unlikely to be reinstated.

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