President Wilson Thompson from the Highlands Farmers and Settlers Association is calling on authorities to put in place proper storage facilities at Goroka airport in Eastern Highlands Province. He said the upgraded airport failed to recognize Eastern Highlands as an agriculture based province and provide for storage facilities for perishable goods.
Thompson made this call after observing various produce left exposed to the effects of extreme weather conditions while waiting to be shipped out at the airport. He said: "Goroka Airport design did not incorporate a cargo terminal where there is a separate shed, including storage from rain and sun and chiller for perishables or when flights are delayed or cancelled. EHP is an agriculture province and has many products shipped via air cargo such as ground coffee, perishable fruit and vegetables.“
"Hopefully we can get our EHP government to communicate our concerns and it's my challenge to EHP government to build a suitable air cargo facility for all airlines using the Goroka Airport. When flights are delayed or cancelled but cargo already consigned, it just stays on the tarmac for next day flights. If it rains or sun is hot, it's just left in the open. "Our farmers doing fresh fruit and vegetables and flowers are affected on a daily basis. "And when their perishable are affected, they cannot claim compensation."