NEWS

New Runway Lights Project For Labasa Airport Launched

A project to install runway lighting systems at Labasa Airport was launched on Friday night. Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and Tui Macuata Ratu Wiliame Katonivere officiated the
26 Aug 2017 13:54
New Runway Lights Project For Labasa Airport Launched
Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum (middle) with staff of Airport Fiji Limited, Tui Macuata Ratu Wiliame Katonivere, Government department heads and business people during the ground breaking ceremony for the Labasa Airport runway lighting system on August 25, 2017. Photo: Shratika Singh

A project to install runway lighting systems at Labasa Airport was launched on Friday night.

Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and Tui Macuata Ratu Wiliame Katonivere officiated the ground breaking ceremony.

Business representatives,  Commissioner Northern Division; Government department heads and staff members of Airports Fiji Limited attended the event.

Airports Fiji Limited mechanical services manager Waqa Taukei said work would start next month and it was expected to finish by the end of November.

The project cost is more than $400,000 and in the future AFL would consider upgrading the terminal and extension of the runway, he said.

On a proposed new airport, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said: “Building a new airport will cost a lot of money and will take lot of time.

“We also discussed that we have been looking for a site at Seaqaqa.

“The night landing in Vanua Levu will mean more frequency of flights and flexibility.

“Now that flights will be able to land in Labasa during the night, travellers can change their flight schedules accordingly.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the reality was that Nadi International Airport was the only airport that made profit.

He said this was the beginning of better opportunities for Labasa Airport.

“This project would also mean greater opportunities for Fiji Link and Northern Air to reschedule themselves and increase profits,” he said.

“No airport in Fiji makes a profit expect Nadi.”

“Labasa Airport’s runway was short and those who built it did not think about future development,” he said.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said there was not enough land or space for extension and a lot of work is required.

“I would look forward to the landowners to work together with AFL and Tui Macuata so that we can get things done quickly and we can get night landing done.

“We need to think about the multiplier-effect and understand the commercial reality,” he said.

Northern Air operator Captain Rainjesh San who was also present at the groundbreaking ceremony.

He said his fleet would be the first to land at night after the project was completed.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback:  ranobab@fijisun.com.fj



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