A deal to extend the runway at Nausori International Airport has been done and approved by Fiji Airports, the Lands Department, iTaukei Lands Trust Board (TLTB) and the landowners.
This was revealed by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama at a talanoa session at the Mahadevi Temple at Vuci, Nausori, on Saturday night.
Resident Narayan Sami asked the Prime Minister to provide an update on the extension of the Nausori Airport.
Mr Bainimarama said now that deal had been struck, work should begin soon.
Answering a question by Opposition member Ro Kiniviliame Kiliraki in the Parliament sitting in March on the progress of the extension, Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum had explained negotiations with landowners were continuing.
“It began a few years back and from the village of Naselai and three of the landowning units from Natogadravu,” he said.
“Some of the leases will be leased through the TLTB and the others through the Ministry of Lands.”
The current constraints at Nausori Airport he said was fundamentally the length of the runway.
He said Nausori International Airport, like all the other airports in Fiji apart from Nadi, did not make a profit essentially because of the economies of scale at these airports.
“Now, the Nausori Airport, currently, for example, the largest aircraft that lands there is the (Boeing) 737-800 that has direct flights to Sydney and also to Auckland,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.
“However, this aircraft actually flies also not a full load because of the length of the runway.”
The current runway length he said was about 1868 metres long and 30 metres wide.
The ideal length for the Boeing 737 operational on full load capacity, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said, was 2100 metres, so this was why all these years when it had been flying it did not take the full load because it needed a longer runway.