SOE Controller David Manning
CONTROLLER of the State of Emergency and Commissioner of Police, David Manning, today warned airline operators in Papua New Guinea to comply with emergency orders and directives. Mr Manning said the emergency orders and directives were imposed upon close consultation with the National Department of Health to prevent the spread of the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are in a national emergency and everyone must comply with instructions to ensure that we keep PNG COVID-19 free,” Mr Manning said. The Controller sounded this warning after it came to his attention that emergency orders issued as well as health and safety protocols put in place with respect to airline operations during the national emergency were not being complied with by some airlines.
“These include what appear to me to be deliberate breaches of the orders committed in the hope that my office would not find out,” Mr Manning said. He said if breaches continue he will take action upon the airlines. This includes prosecution of individuals and companies as well as seizure of vehicles and aircraft involved.
“If future breaches of orders continue I will also stop operators from operating any flights for the duration of the national emergency,” Mr Manning said. The Controller said to date he has been lenient regarding any breaches and not taken any action aside from issuing verbal warnings as he was cognisant that it was a new system put in place and some confusion was inevitable. Mr Manning said, “I have issued a number of emergency orders that deals specifically with domestic and international travels. “These orders are necessary to protect PNG against the spread of COVID-19. In particular, as flights are a key vector that can spread the disease throughout PNG.”
The Controller said it has been his hope that the PNG airline industry would voluntarily comply with these orders and generally ensure that there is compliance with the system put in place under the national emergency.
For media contact:Chief Superintendent Dominic D. Kakas, BEM, DPS
Team Leader – COVID-19 Media & Public Information
Mobile: 75430557: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org