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Nausori Airport Runway Transformation To Begin

Come the completion of this project in 2021, the big news story likely won’t be the extended runway itself, but the increased value of property around the airport. These were
20 Sep 2018 12:56
Nausori Airport Runway Transformation To Begin
A map of the Nausori International Airport runway extension project.

Come the completion of this project in 2021, the big news story likely won’t be the extended runway itself, but the increased value of property around the airport.
These were the wise words of the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama during the groundbreaking ceremony of the Nausori International Airport runway extension yesterday at Nausori.
This infrastructure project will forever change the face of Nausori International Airport, improve the surrounding area, and advance the people of Nausori.
Mr Bainimarama said: “I can confidently say that with this ground-breaking, the demand for commercial and residential property in the neighbouring areas is already on the rise.
“As jobs are created and tourists and business-people flow in and out of the airport with money to spend, landowners in Nausori will prove to be big winners with increased demand for housing, goods and services.
“And my Government stands at the ready to help landowners make the most of the opportunities that will be ripe for the taking; as was announced again in this year’s Budget.
“We have set aside resources to help landowners subdivide their land and, therefore, have access to more direct income for themselves and for their families. This is already happening.
“A modern, world-class airport in Nausori will attract more tourists, diplomats, and business travellers to come directly to Suva, and by becoming another primary gateway to Fiji, the people in the communities around us stand to gain in a very big way.”
Meanwhile, the effects of an upgraded airport with an extended runway will be felt far beyond the homes and businesses in Nausori.
“All of Suva, all of Fiji, and all of the Pacific will be advanced by the new connectivity of this air travel transformation.
“Today, the largest aircraft that operates out of Nausori is the Fiji Airways Boeing 737, which operates on restricted load capacity to Auckland and Sydney.
“These international flights are joined by four regional and domestic flights serviced by smaller aircraft. In total, Nausori Airport handles nearly 75,000 international passengers and over a quarter-million domestic passengers each year, with over 1,200 international flights and over 10,000 domestic flights taking off and landing on this runway last year.
“My fellow Fijians, remember those numbers now, because they are set to expand in a big way when this runway extension is completed in two-and-a-half years’ time.
The project, with an estimated Fiji Airports investment of $60 million, will completely upgrade the airport’s existing runway and pavement infrastructure.
“The runway length will be extended from 1,670 metres to 2,140 metres, and widened from 30 metres to 45 metres.
“Plane taxiways will be widened, and a new parking apron will be created outside in preparation for a future phase of planned terminal upgrades.
“Works will also include the construction of a properly drained strip area and a runway-end safety area, the installation and upgrade of associated navigational aids.
“The diversion of existing road infrastructure, a new perimeter security fence and paving new perimeter roading –– all of which will come together to make for a well-planned, safer, and more efficient airport.
“When we talk about a runway extension, this is far more than just a few more metres of pavement. The upgrade and expansion of the airport will fundamentally transform how Nausori Airport operates, from the size and weight of planes it can handle, to its ability to host take-offs and landings even in windy or rainy weather conditions.
“The extended runway and upgrades will allow bigger aircraft to land in Nausori –– to carry more passengers and cargo, and to carry more fuel, resulting in far more doors opening for new routes throughout the region and the world. But when it comes to traveling, the benefits will be felt most by the hundreds of thousands of Fijians here at home who take advantage of domestic routes to visit their friends and families.
“This major infrastructure development will have the potential to create more destinations within Fiji from Nausori, giving unprecedented convenience to passengers who live closer to Suva by allowing them to connect to more direct flights from here instead of travelling all the way to Nadi.
“This runway upgrade and extension project is only the first phase of my Government’s grander plan to completely modernise Nausori Airport, much like we did with the unquestionable success story in Nadi. Once the runway project has been completed, the next stage will be to build a brand-new, state-of-the-art terminal.
“And as we prepare for the phases ahead, you can be assured that we will be taking every step to ensure that the new Nausori Airport is truly world-class and aligned with international standards such as those set by ICAO – the International Civil Aviation Organisation, much like we did in Nadi.
“We will be searching near and far to find the best possible candidates to fill the many jobs that this project will create, and we will be following the best practices with an open tender process to attract the best possible retail concessions that will prove to make flying in and out of Nausori as pleasant and seamless a process as possible.
“Because with its expanded runway and flight paths, paired with a newly-refurbished terminal filled with attractive new vendors, Nausori’s airport will join Nadi’s as a gateway to Fiji that we can all be proud of.
“I look forward to seeing the new Nausori Airport runway by the beginning of 2021.”

Good infrastructure
Fiji Airports executive chairman Faiz Khan said a big part of what Fiji Airports does is building good infrastructure.
“When you build world class infrastructure it allows to serve and service your customers better but it also has a bigger impact in the lives of people.
“The runaway will be extended, lengthened and widened to allow 737 aircraft to be landing and taking off from Nausori more frequently and without any restrictions.
“Until today our runaway is not internationally compliant because of the number of restrictions.
“After the extension we will not have such restrictions.
“So it’s not just a simple matter of widening and lengthening the runway itsel.
He also noted that the drainage system, taxiways , runaway and safety areas gets upgraded along with the new Instrument Landing System (ILS)/Distance Measuring Equipment (DME).
“A number of upgrades will have happen together with extension and widening of runaway
China Railway 5 is the project contractor while GHD is the consultant of the project. The two companies successful completed the Rotuma Airport upgrade.
Mr Khan said: “These very same combination is what we used in the Rotuma Airport upgrade project and we are hoping that we are able to successful deliver the Nausori runaway extension project using the same combination.
“Fiji Airports last year made a $80million profit.
“Nadi is the only airport that makes profit for us.
“Nausori and all outer island airports make losses for us.”
However, he said they are still doing upgrades on many outer islands airports, who are operating at a loss
He said even though these airports are operating at a loss, they are upgrading it because of the vision of the Government.
“Without the vision, without that push we wouldn’t have been able to. From a business point of view we wouldn’t be spending money in Nausori and outer islands
“Hopefully in five years’ time we are able to break even in Nausori and increase our income.”

Fiji Airways
Shaenaz Voss, the Executive general manager, Fiji Link and Group Corporate, International and Government Affairs said: “We are very encouraged by the extension of the runway which is far more important to us right now in terms of safe operations.
“We have a new aircraft arriving sometime in November or hopefully even earlier and the extension will add value when we eventually operate that aircraft.
“It will give us a little more pay load then we have got right now and little more opportunities as well as looking at other destinations.”
She also added that with the new Instrument Landing System (ILS)/Distance Measuring Equipment (DME), it will allow the aircrafts to land with more safety.
Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

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