Mount Hagen International Airport has been inaugurated in Papua New Guinea (PNG) following upgrades supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Funds allocated for the airport upgrade had been a part of ADB's Civil Aviation Development Investment Program (CADIP) which intends to boost safety, accessibility, and reliability of air services in the country.
ADB PNG Resident Mission country director Marcelo Minc said: "Mount Hagen Airport is one of the government's many priority infrastructure investments which ADB supports in PNG, and it will boost inclusive and environmentally sustainable economic growth.
The upgraded airport, which also goes by the name of Kagamuga Airport, is expected to turn into a new model for all airports within the country.
Designs for the main terminal building at the airport have been inspired by a local artefact, the Mount Hagen axe, ADB said.
Exterior of the building has been shaped like an axe and has been decorated in traditional patterns.
The airport has been developed to be energy efficient and features eco-friendly elements including skylights to maximise the use of natural light.
The main terminal at the airport also features LED energy-saving lights throughout, with the terminal building having its own independent sewerage treatment system.
An undercover market area has also been developed as a part of the upgrade which allows local vendors to sell their produce.
Around 21 national airports are aimed to be improved under the CADIP in order to improve and ensure safe and secure all-weather air transportation.
CADIP has been scheduled for a 2018 completion and involves extension of runways, strengthening of pavements, development of airport fencing and parking bays for aircraft, purchase of upgraded fire trucks, and upgrades to the navigation and air traffic management systems.
Image: Design of the main terminal building was inspired by the Mount Hagen axe. Photo: courtesy of Asian Development Bank.