Reopening Pangoa Airstrip

Reopening Pangoa Airstrip

On 30 May, UK pilots Paul Woodington and Israel Neale, re-opened the airstrip Pangoa Airstrip 25 years after the last flight.

People celebrated as the plane came into land on the island strip close to Lake Murray in Papua New Guinea's Western Province.

For Israel Neale, the flight doubled up as a training flight as he was shown the ropes by experienced Caravan pilot Paul Woodington.

Paul said: 'On landing, we were warmly welcomed to clapping and cheering and lots of sing-sing by local tribeswomen. I was asked to cut the ribbon to declare the airstrip open.

 

'The re-opening is the fruit of the partnership between the RAA (Rural Airstrips Authority) and MAF. RAA had spent many months working alongside the community. They also surveyed the airstrip in preparation for our arrival. The aircraft we flew was P2-MAK, the latest of our new arrivals.

'Both Israel and I gave a short thank-you talk to the community, and so did Peter from the RAA and the local councilmen. Departing Pangoa, we took the RAA team to continue their good work at Morehead and one passenger from PANGOA to Mt Hagen, their very first passenger!'

'Departing Pangoa, we took the RAA team and one passenger from PANGOA to Mt Hagen, their very first passenger!'