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Nausori Airport not making profit

18:39 Wed Mar 14, 2018

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Report by: Rachael Nath

The Nausori Airport like every other airport in Fiji apart from the Nadi International Airport is failing to make any profits.

Aviation Minister, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says this is fundamentally due to the land acquisition which is currently on going.

Sayed-Khaiyum stresses through the acquisition, the length of the runaway can be extended in order to make profits.

“The Nausori Airport currently the largest airport that lands there is 737-800 that has the direct flight to Sydney and Auckland, however, this flight does not carry full capacity because of the length of the runway. The current runway length 1868 meters and 30 meters wide while the ideal length is 2100meters that is why it doesn’t take a full load.”

The Minister also revealed in parliament that some lawyers have been trying to influence the acquisition.

Sayed-Khaiyum says a few lawyers are looking at a large up front amount but what they should be looking at is getting a market survey done, to see how they can conduct reassessments every three or five years.

He adds by doing this land owners will appreciate the good returns.

The Minister also revealed that they are working on cleaning the mess of the previous government.

“The current airport site was acquired during the Colonial Government days in January, 1st 1951, the lease issued was for 99 years at 66 pounds per annum with no right of reassessment. No government has corrected not during the Colonial days, Alliance, Rabuka or the SDL Government – we are actually going to correct that.”

Opposition MP, Niko Nawaikula questioned the payment paid by government of $1 billion for the acquisition of the leases.

Nawaikula says according to the native land owners the valuation of the land stood at $5 billion.

Sayed-Khaiyum cleared the confusion stating the entire acquisition has not been completed.

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