Port Moresby International Airport
Port Moresby International Airport (POM IATA) in Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea, is the main air hub for the country, its only airport with regular international flights.
The airstrip was originally built during World War II as a military complex and was significant in fighting the Battle of New Guinea in 1942-1943. It was an Allied base of operations during those years. The original airport was in Waigani, now a neighborhood of Port Moresby. In 1946, after the war, the military airbase, 4 mi (6.4 km) northeast of Port Moresby, opened to passenger traffic and eclipsed the Waigani airport in volume. The old airport was eventually decommissioned, and Jacksons International Airport became the sole airport of Port Moresby. The old airport was visible until the 1990s, but has since been destroyed and built over. Today, in the international terminal, a walkthrough of World War II history of the airport still gives a testament to the events it has gone through.
The airport has two terminals: domestic terminal and international terminal.
The domestic terminal has a few, but not many services, and it can get hot in there because there is no Air Conditioning. To the left as you walk in is a cafe (if you want somethingto eat, get it here) and the check-in lines (more like check-in congregation). The eight or so lanes to the left are for Air Niugini and the two or three lanes to the right are for PNG Air. The monitors above the check-in lanes tell what flight each lane is for, but they aren't usually updated immediately and can be for any flight. They will check you into any flight in any line. Sometimes (but not all the time) white people or tourists are escorted into the Air Niugini business class or executive club line to get you through quicker.
After checking in, the security checkpoint is through the doors just off the check-in area. Usually no wait. You usually just walk right on through (a broken metal detector, that is). Then you enter the departure lounge, a large area with a snack and beverage area (although there are usually meat pies or sandwiches, but I wouldn't recommend them). This departure lounge is where all passengers wait for their flights. Listen carefully for them to call your flight and watch for people standing up. There is a flight board at the front of the room, so make sure to check it frequently.
When they call your flight, you walk out the departure door and outside to your plane and walk up the stairs into your plane. Be prepared for a long walk sometimes.
The international terminal is a lot nicer and has more modern services that the domestic terminal does not have. Upon walking in, the check-in lanes are to the left and there is a currency changer to the right. It is definitely a lot quieter and cooler in here. The lines aren't as long either, so you finish getting checked in very quickly.
Once you are checked in, there is an escalator to the right that you go up and go through security. Again, the line is short (though the metal detector and baggage x-ray machine work), and you enter the departure area. There are shops selling PNG items and trinkets, a small cafe, a restaurant, the Air Niugini and Qantas lounge, the World War II history hall, a duty free shop, and some other services. There are four gates, two on each side, and a seating area in each wing. When you board, you actually get to use a jetway to enter your plane.
Once you have landed, you walk outside from your plane to the baggage claim area. Follow people or markings. Once you have entered the baggage claim area, there are carts for luggage (they are free and just sitting around). Your luggage will arrive on the sole baggage carousel shortly. Always make sure al of your bags have made it safely.
Once you have received all your bags, there is another long walk outside to the curb. There are some kai bars and they will always have cold drinks.
When you land and come up the jetway, you'll immediately make a turn and go down a hallway. This will lead you to customs, which can take a while depending on how many people they have working the station and how fast they process people. Immediately after you go through customs, you enter baggage claim, and directly outside baggage claim is the curb. Very simple.
Airlines & destinations
- Air Niugini flies from Cairns, Sydney and Brisbane, Australia; Honiara, Solomon Islands; Manila, Philippines; Tokyo (Narita), Japan; Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong
- Qantas flies from Cairns, and Brisbane, Australia
- Virgin Australia flies from Brisbane, Australia
A bus connect the airport with downtown Port Moresby in 30 minutes.
The taxis are located outside the terminals and takes ride from the airport to downtown Port Moresby around 20 minutes. The fare is 80 PGK (Kinas) from airport to downtown.
Eat and drink
All major hotels will provide airport transfers - make sure they know your arrival time and whether you will be at the international or domestic terminal. There are two hotel nearby the airport:
- 1 Gateway Hotel & Apartments, 7 Mile, Jacksons Parade, Port Moresby 121, ☏ +675 327 8255, [email protected]. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM.
- 2 Airways Hotel, Jackson Parade, Jackson International Airport, P.O Box 1942, Boroko NCDC, ☏ +675 324 5200, [email protected].