Airports takeover of ‘utmost concern’

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Nadi International Airport Departures Terminal. Picture: FIJI AIRPORTS

The Fiji Public Service Association (FPSA) says it is concerned for the travelling public as Fiji Airways takes over management of Fiji Airports, that includes air traffic management.

FPSA general secretary Rajeshwar Singh says the union is a stakeholder in Fiji Airports and represents workers at the organisation.

“What qualifications does Fiji Airways have in managing an air traffic service run by the air traffic controllers at the airport,” said Mr Singh.

He said in New Zealand, Airways Corporation of NZ, in Australia, Airservices Australia and in the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration operate their own air traffic services separately from their airport operations.

“While their major airports are operated by a mix of State and private entities, air traffic service though remains primarily in the hands of their State institutions, typically reformed to achieve its objectives better.

“We are not aware of any State airline managing the affairs of their air traffic services organisations anywhere in the world.

“It appears that the lack of consultation with industry has many rightfully questioning the move.”

Mr Singh added the decision by the Minister for Economy to outsource Airports Fiji Ltd’s management to Fiji Airways was of “utmost concern”.

“Not only does there appear to be a blatant lack of transparency on the outsourcing, but the question that begs the answer is that what qualifications does Fiji Airways have in managing an airport.”

“How can Fiji Airways management remain impartial given that they also have their own airline objectives to fulfil.”

“These are pertinent questions that the minister needs to answer.”

  • Questions sent to Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and Fiji Airways on August 5 remained unanswered when this edition went to press.