ICT is a platform that is key to the new normal for conducting business during this time of COVID. Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Hon. William Samb was excited upon delivering the first ever Regional Aviation Ministers Meeting Virtually as Host in Port Moresby today the 30th of June, 2021.
Minister Samb said for the first time the highest-level policy makers have met to discuss and decide on a strategy for managing future safety and air navigation enhancements for the Pacific through a process of consultation, coordination and collaboration.
“PNG is strategically located to provide the aviation connectivity hub between Asia and the Pacific and expects to leverage of this, through the Regional Aviation Ministers Meeting and looking forward to visiting Cook Island the host for the 2nd RAAM next year 2022,” said Minister Samb.
He also stated that COVID is here to stay. Though it has brought a lot of challenges to normal operations of business, however out of this negativity comes the positivity to which has taught many Papua New Guineans to effectively use Technology especially the Virtual Meetings. Minister Samb commended the ICT Sector and appreciate the technology that made it possible to connect all Ministers for Transport and Infrastructure within the Pacific Region for this important meeting.
Transport and Infrastructure Ministers of the 16 island countries including Australia and New Zealand have come together to address the importance of Aviation, the recovery objectives of the COVID-19 impacts, framework for enhanced Pacific Region Aviation Collaboration, Pacific Regional Aviation Strategy, the Amended Pacific Islands Civil Aviation Safety and Security Treaty (PICASST) and ways to strengthened the Multi-Functional Regional Aviation Organization.
They believed that Aviation is an enabler of social and economic activity by facilitating the movement of people and goods. They said it is vital to many industries, in particular tourism and trade. “It is also fundamental to job growth, productivity, prosperity, development and wellbeing”.
All the Minsters in the Region acknowledged the significant impacts that COVID-19 has had on the Pacific region and supported collaboration among Forum Members, organizations and stakeholders to continue to respond to and recover from, the COVID-19 pandemic, with the aim of providing benefit to all citizens of the region. They have all agreed that affordable and sustainable air services are critical to economic recovery post COVID-19, however there are opportunities to encourage economic recovery of the region through aviation connectivity by establishing temporary arrangements with other like-minded nations that encourage air travel
between nations, as an interim measure to help kick-start economic recovery when border restrictions are lifted and also considering whether there are essential air routes that could be serviced through different funding models. Minister for Civil Aviation and Chair of the RAAM 2021, Hon. Sekie Agisa was so privilege to have chaired this first ever high policy meeting and also commended all who have organized and have participated making it a successful one. Both Minister Agisa and Minister Samb were satisfied of the outcome.