Residents whose land was taken for Sentani Airport blockaded the runway and taxiway on several occasions, helping them to secure compensation and recognition of their customary land rights. Scores of residents from three tribal groups - Fele, Sokoy and Kalem - closed the airport down on 28th August 2009, by placing bars on the runway, causing flights to be suspended for about two hours. They demanded compensation for communally owned land that was used to build the airport and said they would repeat the action if the issue were not resolved. Protesters only left the runway after being dispersed by the Jayapura Police and after leaving the runway they blocked access to the airport traffic control tower. The head of the airport denied their claim, saying the land was a government asset handed over to the airport, stated that the Papua Transportation Agency had compensated the landowners, but stated there was no ownership certificate as, following independence, it was surrendered by the Dutch colonial administration. Papua Governor Barnabas Suebu issued a decree asking the Jayapura Regency administering to address the tribes’ compensation demand.