16 Nov 2006

Fiji's parliament worried about safe air traffic control

1:40 pm on 16 November 2006

Concern has been raised in Fiji's parliament that international airlines may soon stop flying to the country because of problems with providing safe air traffic control.

Radio Legend reports that Labour Party MP and trade unionist Felix Anthony has told the Lower House that the company contracted to provide air traffic control services, Strategic Air Services Limited is in breach of international air traffic laws.

Nadi air traffic control has not had sufficient manpower since Friday night when the company suspended half a dozen senior controllers over the staff log of claims.

Mr Anthony says the situation has posed a great danger to international airlines and the traveling public.

He says a once thriving arm of government has been reduced to severe financial strain and an important government institution is being put to severe test.

The Rabuka government subcontracted air traffic control to the indigenous Strategic Air Services in 1999, but the company has been beset with problems including a management coup three months ago.

The Nadi Flight Information Region also covers the air space management over several neighbouring South Pacific countries.