Pilots operating domestic flights in Papua New Guinea (PNG) were left to make air traffic decisions for themselves for an hour as the country's air traffic controllers went on strike.

Director-general Miria Ume of PNG's civil aviation department, says from Port Moresby that domestic flights were given no instructions for 60 minutes while members of the Air Traffic Controllers Association (ATAC) met to discuss further action.

Ume says that during this period, domestic pilots communicated amongst themselves, giving each other direction. All domestic traffic was ordered to remain below 25,000ft, although Ume says he does not know how many flights were affected.

Brisbane air traffic control was given authority over international traffic entering the PNG flight information region for the hour, but Ume says there were no such flights. He says that international traffic was to have remained above 25,000ft.

ATAC members claim they are owed meal and other allowances that have gone unpaid for two years. Ume says that he has "-yet to confirm the outcome of the meeting of the ATAC".

Source: Flight Daily News