MAJOR UPGRADES TO START AT FIJI AIRPORT THIS YEAR

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Terminal, runway improvements set for Nausori

By Demayble Pasoni

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, March 6, 2012) – A sixty million Fiji dollar [US$34 million] upgrade at the Nausori Airport is expected to begin this year

Airports Fiji Limited chief executive officer Tony Gollin said the redevelopment was aimed at addressing issues that unfavorably affect the airports operations.

Mr. Gollin said the upgrade was long overdue and a ten year time period was set for the completion of the redevelopment.

Work, he said, would progress in three stages.

Upon completion, Nausori Airport will provide a safe, reliable and passenger friendly aviation operation until "to at least 2040 and beyond."

He credited the Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama for providing the support that moved the redevelopment forward.

"A concern also is the state of the present terminal. Short term measures are being taken to improve the current facility, but in stage two a new international terminal is to be built on a site where the hangars are now located. This will provide much improved passenger services," he said.

"The present terminal will then be refurbished for domestic commercial use and private jets. Additionally, the apron, where aircraft load and unload their passengers, as well as parking positions for international aircraft, will be substantially enlarged and positioned adjacent to the new terminal. Stage two will also include the construction of a new control tower," said Mr. Gollin.

Plans are underway for stage one work and mobilization on site is expected to begin in December when the necessary planning approvals and land acquisition have taken place.

Currently, the Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji Islands has placed restrictions on the use of the airport's runway that includes a ban on night flying until the improvements are in place.

The new look for the strip will include an extension to the runway from its present 1,868 meters to 2,300 meters.

It will be long enough to accommodate larger aircraft such as the Boeing 767 and Air Pacific's proposed Airbus A330 aircraft and is scheduled for stage three of the development.

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