7 Oct 2003

Australia accused of colonialism in take-over of Fiji controlled airspace

8:20 am on 7 October 2003

The executive director of Fiji's Strategic Air Services, Watesoni Nata, has described Australia's taking over of regional airspace as a form of colonisation.

Australia now controls some regional countries' airspace as does New Zealand following problems with management provided by Fiji.

Mr Nata says Fiji cannot compete with Australia financially for smaller island nations, and it's taking away people's livelihoods in Fiji.

"We are concerned too with Australia, taking over control of Solomons airspace, Nauru airspace and now advising Kiribati on breaking away from Fiji. This is colonisation"

Strategic Air Services are contracted by Airports Fiji Limited to protect Fiji's airspace and revenue that brings in about 6.5 million US annually and provides about 300 jobs.