Sayed-Khaiyum Leads Civil Aviation Talks

Fiji is hosting yet another international conference, this time of 22 Asia Pacific countries who are members of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

They are discussing changes to navigation protocols to reduce aircraft congestion and noise, conserve fuel, protect the environment and allow airlines to maintain reliable all-weather services to even the most challenging airports.

Opening the conference in Nadi this morning, the Attorney-General and Minister for Civil Aviation, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, said that the rapid growth of the aviation industry in recent years had presented the industry with new challenges that need to be addressed.

“Solutions have to be identified and developed now in a holistic manner if greater efficiency is to be achieved. Everyone now acknowledges the need to solve the congestion of airways and aerodromes”, he said.

The Attorney-General said the ICAO had developed a new navigation protocol called Performance Based Navigation (PBN) that would revolutionise the existing system and make it safer and more efficient.

“Most of the Pacific Island States continue to use conventional ground-based navigation aids as primary means of navigation. These ground-based system have served the aviation community well since their inception. However, they do not permit the flexibility of point-to-point operations available with PBN to meet the challenges of the future”, he added.

He said the conference will assist the Pacific Island States to develop PBN plans and identity gaps in their implementation.

Speaking afterwards, the Attorney-General said that Fiji was positioning itself as an important regional hub in civil aviation.

“As part of the Bainimarama Government’s policy of encouraging and implementing international compliance requirements, such as HACCP and ISO, we are also committed to adopting best internationalpractice and standards in the aviation industry. A healthy civil aviation industry is crucial to Fiji’s prosperity and development and has flow-on benefits for the tourism industry.”

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