A Solomon Airlines spokesperson has indicated that the Airlines PNG Dash8, currently on lease to Solomon Airlines, will have to limit its operations because of minor technical issues."There are two issues identified with the Dash8, one is the HF radio, which is integral to all operations for aircraft's in this region, and the second is to do with the GPS," the Solomon Airlines said in a statement.
The statement says that the HF issue has been an ongoing one where those routes that are of close proximity to Henderson are the only ones able to communicate with Flight Service centre.
"With distant areas, when the aircraft reaches cruise levels, the radio communication is rendered as inoperable...so for the safety of the traveling public, the Dash8 is unable to operate such routes."
The statement says that another problem on the Dash8 is related to the GPS, or Global Positioning System, which is also not picking up vital data on longer routes such as Lata.
"In the past couple of weeks, we have been awaiting information from Airlines PNG on a permanent fix to this issue to have full operational use of the Dash8 again. This has not been forthcoming although Airlines PNG have had up to three engineers on the ground at Henderson reviewing all the Dash8 Avionics system to find a solution without success."
The airline apologized, especially to the people of Lata, for the disruption in service and has assured the traveling public that additional Twin Otter flights will be brought in to assist in the backlog and hope that Airlines PNG finds a solution to the issues soon.