Touchdown Zone: Tauban

Region: Papua, Indonesia

Surface: Grass on gravel

Elevation:  4,320 feet

Length:  374 meters/1227 feet

Width:  16 meters/ 52 feet

Slope: 15% at touchdown increasing to 26%

People group served: Ketengban

Interesting Fact: The Tauban runway was built using an erosion technique: washing dirt from the top of the runway to the bottom. Tauban also serves the village of Lundo, since YAJASI cannot use Lundo’s airstrip because it does not meet JAARS standards.

Time Saved: From YAJASI’s home base in Sentani to Tauban is a 50-minute flight. Overland travel is virtually impossible due to jungle, swamp, mountains, and rugged terrain void of roads. Pilot Brad McFarlane says, “The end of last week I flew eight people from Tauban to Oksibil for school and saved them a 6-day hike with a 20-minute flight.”

Read more about the first flight into Tauban here.


Tauban villagers had to move a lot of dirt to make their runway, using the erosion technique. They dug up the top of a hill and, using water and gravity, washed the excess soil down the hill to be compiled at the bottom of the runway. This technique saves many months of hard work but unfortunately is only available to those who build their runways on steep mountains. Photo credit Kars Kroneman
Tauban from the air. Photo credit Kars Kroneman
The Pilatus Porter PC-6 is sitting at the top of the runway. Photo credit Kars Kroneman
This photo gives some idea of the steep slope at Tauban. Photo credit Kars Kroneman
Pilot Kars Kroneman with villagers and the noken (string bag) they gave him as a sign of gratitude and appreciation. Photo credit Brad McFarlane
The villagers celebrated the opening of Tauban with traditional dancing. Photo credit Kars Kroneman
Pilot Brad McFarlane poses at the top of the runway with some local men dressed for the occasion. Photo credit Kars Kroneman