The newly upgraded Hoskins Airport in West New Britain, Papua New Guinea (PNG), has been officially opened, to boost connectivity and stimulate local economy.
Carried out under the Asian Development Bank (ADB)-supported Civil Aviation Development Investment Program (CADIP), the upgrades include 1,900m runway extension, strengthened pavements and installation of a perimeter security fence.
Additional enhancements include a modernised terminal building with an eco-friendly sewerage system, and new solar-powered street lights around the terminal to boost energy efficiency.
ADB Papua New Guinea Resident Mission country director Marcelo Minc said: "Local communities were hired during construction and a new market was built inside the airport boundary which will enable vendors to sell local produce, art and crafts, and souvenirs.
"The improved airport will boost connectivity between West New Britain and the rest of PNG and stimulate the local economy."
Funded by the government of PNG and ADB, the upgrade of Hoskins airport was performed by Covec PNG Ltd as part of a contract awarded in 2013.
Under the CADIP programme, around 21 national airports are being improved to provide safer, more secure and all-weather air transport services.
Expected to be complete by 2018, the programme includes extending runways, strengthening pavements, building airport fencing and parking bays for aircraft, purchasing advanced fire trucks, and upgrading navigation and air traffic management systems.
Based in Manila, ADB provided a total of $22.9bn assistance, including co-financing of $9.2bn in 2014.
Image: The improved airport will boost connectivity between West New Britain and the rest of PNG. Photo: courtesy of Asian Development Bank.