By JEFFREY ELAPA
|Telefomin MP Peter Iwei (left) with chief pilot Gerard Conron near the plane at the Jackson International Airport yesterday.-Nationalpic by JEFFREY ELAPA|
And they have much to thank TransAir co-owner Les Wright for making it possible.
Unfortunately, Wright could not witness the handover yesterday, as he was one of four people killed in the Misima, Milne Bay, plane crash in bad weather last Tuesday.
Telefomin MP Peter Iwei said the nine-seater Cessna 206 was bought for K300,000 using his district support grants which were approved by the district planning and budget priorities committee.
The plane was bought in Cairns, Australia, under an arrangement with Wright before last Tuesday’s tragic plane crash.
Iwei said that the plane would be leased to the Frieda River copper mine in his electorate so that it was sustainable in the long run, allowing the district to collect revenue.
He said Telefomin was one of the most isolated districts, which was only accessible by air, and the plane would ease many transportation problems.
He noted that the plane was small, however, it was appropriate for serving his people whose travel had been restricted for many years.
Iwei thanked third-level airlines like MAF that had served his remote area, and the purchase of the plane was not to compete but for service delivery to his people.
The launching of the plane will take place in Telefomin after it is registered as P2PIW Min Airways.
Villager Collin Tandamat, who turned up to see the plane at the TransAir hanger at the Jackson International Airport, said he was pleased to see the little people owning a plane to serve themselves.
Iwei returned from Telefomin yesterday to learn of the Misima tragedy and passed his condolences to Wright’s family