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Runway repairs close Nausori

Tuesday 27 September 2016 | Published in Regional

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FIJI – A number of flights to and from the Suva’s Nausori International Airport had to be redirected to Nadi International Airport or cancelled this week.

Airports Fiji Limited (AFL), in a statement, said: “AFL has been carrying out runway crack sealing works at night times at Nausori Airport over the last two weeks. A liquified sealant is poured over the cracks to seal them off.

“It has become apparent to AFL that the sealant applied last night could not dry within the 30 minutes specified.

“We have accordingly taken the precautionary measures and closed Nausori Airport runway whilst contractors try to find temporary and longer term solutions.

“Flight disruptions of mainly B737 and ATRs are expected during this period. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. We will review the position further this evening.”

Fiji Airways said: “Fiji Airways has had to cancel a number of flights from Suva because of the unsettled surface at Nausori Airport.

“The surface condition following overnight runway works is currently unsuitable for B737 and ATR aircraft operations. Twin Otter aircraft are still able to operate to and from Suva.

“Customers affected include those travelling from Suva to Sydney, Port Vila and Labasa. A number of inbound flights from Labasa to Suva have also had to be diverted to Nadi. Diverted customers landing in Nadi will be transferred to Suva by road.

“Fiji Airways understands the inconvenience caused to affected customers, but reiterates that the disruption is beyond the airline’s control.

“Safety remains Fiji Airways’ primary concern, and the airline is liaising with Airports Fiji Limited on when the runway will be suitable for larger aircraft operations.”

AFL has presently closed Nausori Airport for larger aircraft, with only lighter aircraft able to operate. Further inspections was to be be carried out on the runway surface to determine its suitability for ATR and B737 operations.

Fiji Airways and Fiji Link are using Twin Otter aircraft to move customers between Suva to Nadi, prioritising those with onward international connections on Fiji Airways. This will continue until the runway surface at Nausori is suitable for larger aircraft. - Fiji Sun