At just after 12.30pm, Air Niugini Flight P2-ANR, with Captain Francis Pohonhelan in the cockpit of the F70, flew down from the Bena mountains into the Goroka Valley to land on the brand-new runway.
It was just a test flight, with no passengers on board, as hundreds of excited people lined the perimeter fencing of the airport to welcome back jet flights.
Jet flights into Goroka stopped in 2005 due to the deteriorating condition of the runway.
Since then, Goroka has only been taking in smaller Air Niugini and PNG Air aircraft, especially the Dash-8.
A jubilant Pohonhelan, who used to fly F-28 jets into the town before, said after the history-making flight that resumption of jet flights augured well for the economy of Goroka and Eastern Highlands.
National Airports Corporation programme-director for the Asian Development Bank-funded Civil Aviation Development Investment Programme (CADIP), Manua Kametan, was beaming as well.
National Airports Corporation chairman Reuben Aila was an elated man as he watched the jet land.
Prime Minister Peter O'Neill flew in the next day on an F70 jet and opened the Goroka Airport.
|Congratulating Captain Francis Pohonhelan on his history-making first jet flight to Goroka after many years.|