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By MERE NALEBA
Tourists visiting Fiji will soon be seeing a new look and getting a better experience at the Nadi International Airport as the Government supports its modernisation.
Government and airport operators, Airports Fiji Limited, are trying to instill an impression that will forever be engraved in the minds of those visiting and transiting through Fiji.
The aim is to make Nadi an airport people will want to visit and spend time at.
The Attorney-General and Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, yesterday, was present at the unveiling of the one-year renovation plans that will mark another milestone for Airports Fiji Limited.
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum stressed Government had put in place the Airports (Development and Modernisation) Decree 2012 to address a number of fundamentals problems regarding the concessions currently in existence.
He highlighted in terms of the improvement to the airport, there was a time frame that had been put in place.
“Everything needs to be done essentially within the one year, as far as core objective of the decree is concerned,” he said.
“The airport board and the management have been working quite tirelessly with the various stakeholders including experts and consultants regarding the modernisation of the airport.”
The renovation plan includes developing the airport terminal to create a relaxing environment for tourists and locals travelling abroad and those visiting Fiji.
People should be fully utilising the new facilities by April.
The process will see a streamlined airport, where services and retail outlets will be in a structured organisation to give a lasting good impression as the airport is Fiji’s gateway to the world.
This would allow the free and efficient movement of tourists and locals.
AFL chief executive, Tony Gollin, said other improvements would include:
Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said: “We anticipate the Nadi International Airport to become a modern airport that becomes a destination where people want to go to.
“Many airports now encourage people to spend more time at the airports and that is what we would like to do. The airport is the first and last impression of Fiji.”
This includes redesigning the departure lounge so passengers can see out across Nadi Bay and into the Sabeto hills.
AFL and the Government have assured passenger travels would not be disrupted in any way while the renovations are carried out.
Extra revenue generated through the modernisation of Nadi airport will also enable Airports Fiji Limited to further develop other airports.