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SUVA, Fiji Islands (November 29, 2001 - PINA Nius Online)---New Zealand soon will take over control of the Samoa and Tonga flight information regions from Fiji, costing Fiji's Nadi International Airport millions of dollars, according to media reports.

New Zealand won support from Samoa and Tonga by offering to control their upper air space and, at the same time, share the revenues received from aircraft flying through it.

Fiji had long provided flight control services from Nadi. But for many years it has not shared revenue with Samoa and Tonga.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: 



NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (November 27, 2001 – Government Information Office)---His royal highness Prince ‘Ulukalala Lavaka Ata, the youngest son of his Majesty King Taufa‘ahau Tupou IV and Queen Halaevalu Mata'aho, Prime Minister and Minister for Civil Aviation, reclaims the sovereign airspace of the Kingdom of Tonga as defined by His Royal Highness’s great, great grandfather, His Majesty the late King George Tupou the first.

At the 164th council meeting currently under way in Montreal, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) approved unanimously the amendment to the Asia/ Pacific Air Navigation Plan, effectively moving the current Auckland/Nadi Flight Information Region FIR Boundary westwards, encompassing the sovereign airspace of the Kingdom of Tonga and Samoa

Tonga’s Secretary for Civil Aviation - Mr. Mapa Faletau -- refers to this landmark decision as the result of the enormous work His Royal Highness Prince ‘Ulukalala Lavaka Ata had placed on this project.

"The strategic change in policies as well as presentation of Tonga’s proposal by His Royal Highness in Council today allowed Tonga to convince the ICAO councilors and President that Tonga was acting well within the confines of the convention of international civil aviation as well as the interests of the international aviation community," said Faletau.

Mr. Paul Christiansen, head of Airways Corporation International, was extremely pleased with the outcome and thanked His Royal Highness Prince ‘Uluakala Lavka Ata for his personal attention to this matter. Mr Christiansen also assured HRH that the revenue generated by over flying traffic in Tonga's Sovereign Airspace could contribute to the development of the aviation infrastructure for the Kingdom of Tonga as well as serve as a source of revenue for the Government.

"Tonga for over 25 years has sought this amendment and sovereign airspace identity. It is only the direct intervention of HRH, Prince ‘Ulukala Lavaka ATA, that has seen this positive outcome," Faletau said.

Tonga’s Consular General in San Francisco, California, Tevita Kolokihakaufisi was assisting Tonga put its case before the councilors in preparatory meetings.

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