Air Niugini has suspended its services to Aropa airport, Kieta in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville this week due to removal and theft of the solar panels which power the Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI) lights at the airport.
The flight suspension came into effect today and will continue until further notice.
PAPI lights are a visual aid that is generally located beside the airport runway that provides guidance information to help pilots maintain the correct approach to an airport.
PAPI lights at Aropa airport were only installed recently, allowing the resumption of jet operations into Kieta in January this year. The project was jointly funded by the National Airport Corporation (NAC) and the Office of the Member for South Bougainville.