PNG Police Commissioner David Manning

-An Australian helicopter pilot and two locals kidnapped in a remote part of Papua New Guinea have been released unharmed.

The pilot and two Digicel contractors landed at a telecommunications site where they were taken at gunpoint during a scheduled stop near Mt Sisa on Monday afternoon.

They were released hours later.

“The quick response by our (Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary) was key in arresting this situation,” PNG’s Foreign Minister Justin Tkatchenko told AAP.

“Our men will not stop following through on those criminals until we get them arrested or otherwise.”

PNG police believed the group was motivated by a “compensation claim”.

“Security forces were mobilised and deployed in the area in large numbers through the afternoon,” Commissioner David Manning said in a statement following their release.

“And through local leaders, the abductors had been warned that lethal force would be employed in order to free the captives.”

PNG has had enough of “domestic terrorists” undermining safety, the commissioner said.

“Security forces have now entered the direct apprehension phase of the operation in which the abductors are being tracked so they can face justice,” he said.

“These criminals will be caught or they will be killed in the process.

“If these criminals resist or show any hostility towards police, other security personnel or any member of the public, their fates will be sealed.”

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is providing consular assistance to the pilot and his family.

“The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is pleased that an Australian who had been taken hostage in Papua New Guinea has now been released,” it said in a statement.

“We thank the Papua New Guinea Government and Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary for their assistance”

Australian professor Bryce Barker was taken hostage alongside two locals in the same region a year ago.

A US$28,000 ($A43,000) ransom was reportedly paid to secure their release.