Sunvoice

Amazing Efforts at Nausori International Airport Play Critical Role In Relief

It’s heartwarming to see all the corporate organisations and individuals come together at this time of need to assist our fellow Fijians severely affected by the super storm Winston. All
29 Feb 2016 10:30
Amazing Efforts at Nausori International Airport Play Critical Role In Relief

It’s heartwarming to see all the corporate organisations and individuals come together at this time of need to assist our fellow Fijians severely affected by the super storm Winston.

All differences which may have existed have been put aside and people from far and near have all joined hands to assist the needy.

But while we acknowledge these organisations and individuals, it will not be right if we do not specially acknowledge the hard working staff members of Airports Fiji Limited.

The team has handled the highest aircraft traffic at the Nausori International Airport in the airport’s history.

AFL has temporarily transfered a number of managers from Nadi International Airport to Nausori to assist in traffic movements, addressing logistics of getting people and relief items in and out of Nausori, managing airside parking congestions and managing airside/landslide security guidelines.

Credit for quick-thinking and decision-making also goes to the man behind AFL leadership and that is Faiz Khan, its executive chairman.

Mr Khan says this is significant relief operation taken by donor countries for a mammoth challenge Fiji faces during very difficult times for so many.

Dozens of relief aircraft have flown into and out of Nausori. They include the biggest planes to land and takeoff there. Helicopters have used it as a base. Normal commercial flights by Fiji Airways, Fiji Link and Northern Air continued.

Despite the loads and the size of the aircraft, Nausori International Airport has so far not sustained any damage.

AFL has accommodated big RAAF C17 Globemasters. These aircraft with their payloads are heavy four-engine jets. Mr Khan said Nausori is not equipped to handle Globemasters on a frequent commercial basis.

However, any runway can take heavier aircraft than their ratings if the frequency is managed.

That is how AFL landed the Airbus A380s at Nadi in the past during emergencies; although Nadi runways are not designed to accommodate A380s on a commercial basis.

Mr Khan explained their technical team was continually monitoring and working with the Royal Australian Air Force to ensure we don’t damage the Nausori runway, whilst still undertaking this very important relief operations.

In addition, AFL has agreed to waive all air navigational and landing fees and charges for all relief operations over the next few months. They are estimating they will waive around $300,000 to $500,000 in aeronautical charges.

In addition to the waiver of fees Airports Fiji Ltd is also providing ground support for the relief aircraft.

There are some AFL staff members who worked 24 hours a day. No one has complained.

“The sense of teamwork and sheer determination to do all we can within our powers during this time of need is exemplary; everyone is looking for an opportunity to contribute,” Mr Khan said.

Indeed this display of hardwork by the AFL team like many other Government bodies and ministries as well as private sector and individuals cannot and should not go unnoticed.

They are our true unsung heroes who deserve praise as well.

Rachna lal

Feedback:  rachnal@fijisun.com.fj

 

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