BREAKING NEWS

Flight Schedule to Lata will go as normal: Premier Forau

Schedule flights for Lata in Temotu Province will go as normal despite the threat by disgruntled land owners to close the airport.

Temotu Premier Hon. Clay Forau. Photo Supplied.

This is according to Premier of Temotu Province Clay Forau Soalaoi in an interview with SIBC News today.

Premier Forau made this statement after Landowners under the Melewi Noubembla Trust Board Association have threatened to close the Lata airport following claims that the government had owed them over 80 million dollars. 

“As we speak the Solomon airlines flight is still on schedule and we are expecting a flight here (Lata) tomorrow.

“We  have already had an arrangement with some of the land owners for flights to continue,” Premier Clay Forau said.

He said the province stand to what the Ministry of Communication and Aviation had come up with earlier that any closure of the airport by these landowners is seen as “illegal.”

Premier Forau said police will continue to provide security at the airport although they have come to some understanding with landowners to refrain from staging illegal protests.

“We stand with what the Ministry of Aviation had come up with in the media and we also asked one of the landowners here through consultations not to do anything to close the airport as it is illegal.

“We had already come to an understanding but police will be on standby in case something might go out of hand and tomorrow,” Premier Forau said. 

However, the Secretary to the Landowners under the Melewi Noubembla Trust Board Association, Gordon Meaio reiterated in an interview with SIBC this afternoon, their demand still stand.

“Our claims still stand.

“It is with regret that we have to come up with such decision, but it is the right of landowners to express their concerns so that the government can address their beneficiaries,” Mr Meaio said.

He said at the moment there is still no green light from responsible authorities to their claims, but he said that does not mean they should give up.

Melewi Noubembla Trust Board Association threatened to close the airport down today for claims of more than $80 million the government owed to them as compensation payment for rental and environmental damages.

by Simon Tavake

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