Work on a new apron at Fiji’s main
international airport is due to commence in August or September with Airports
of Fiji (AFL), the country’s airport operator, having already received
expressions of interest from companies wishing to work on the project.
About 18 expressions of interest
have already been received in response to the tender which closes on 8 July,
says am AFL official in Nadi. He says Nadi International Airport’s
existing apron needs to be replaced because it has cracks.
“Initially this apron was designed
for Douglas DC-8s and Boeing 707s but now it is subject to very heavy loadings from
747-400s,” says the official.
“Age of the apron starts from 1960
then in 1972 there were some extensions followed by minor repairs in 1996-97.”
He adds: “The [apron’s] concrete
slabs have cracked… There is substantial cracking especially along the taxi
Last year AFL had New Zealand
engineering firm Beca complete a report examining what work was required on the
apron and how much it would cost.
The official confirms the cost
estimate is around F$16m ($9 million) and that the AFL board has made available
a loan facility with ANZ Bank to pay for it. In the coming months, an AFL
committee will select a contractor and then put forward its recommendation to
the board for approval.
“We expect the work to begin in
August or September…and be completed in 9-12 months,” says the official.
Work will be done in stages so some
of the apron and the accompanying gates can remain open to traffic, he adds.