JICA (K578 million) and the Papua New Guinea government (K114 million) will share the K692 million cost of the development which will enable larger planes to land there.
The upgrade will also enable Nadzab Airport to handle the growing demand for cargo and passenger movements in the Momase and Highlands regions prompted by increased commerce and agriculture.
The ground breaking ceremony last week was attended by Prime Minister James Marape and many governmental and provincial dignitaries, along with JICA officials headed by Japanese ambassador Kunyuki Nakahara.
The ceremony signified the start of construction of the project which is part of the National Airports Corporation- Business Strategy to develop 15 smart airports by 2030.
Once upgraded, Nadzab will be able to service Boeing 737, 767, 777 and 787 as an alternate airport to Port Moresby's Jacksons International Airport.
National Airports Corporation awarded the contract to the leading contractor, Dai Nippon Corporation (DNC), in November, 2019 and the project is expected to be completed in November 2022.
The Lae Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that DNC has a reputation for completion of projects on, or ahead of time.
"All speakers encouraged the landowners and other interested parties not to obstruct this important project which will value add their income stream, employment, community and business opportunities," the LCCI said.