Fiji Airport traffic controllers walk out

By Samisoni Pareti

Islands Business can now confirm that majority of the country’s air traffic controllers in both of Fiji’s international airports have not been reporting to work since 6am on Monday this week.

“Over the last 48 hours since 6am Monday, 18th March 2019, approximately 80% of the air traffic control officers have individually taken various forms of leave entitlement,” states a media release that was sent to the magazine tonight.

“Services are currently being provided by 5 ATC [Air Traffic Control] officers who have worked continuously for the past 48 hours out of the normal daily compliment of 17 officers for Nadi Centre, Nadi Tower and Nausori Tower.”

Islands Business was also able to speak to one of the 80 per cent of ATC officers that are “on leave,” who said that they have met three times with senior managers of Fiji Airports Limited led by its executive chairman Faiz Khan since yesterday.

“Based on emails received from FAL management this afternoon, progressive salary based on promotion and career progression are being deliberately misrepresented by FAL management as a means to demonstrate that massive pay increases have been effected, while in reality this is not the case,” the air traffic control officers said in their statement.

“This issue remains unresolved at the moment and we are hoping that an amicable resolution is achieved at the earliest.”

No mention has been made about the safety of air travel with the alleged walkout by controllers in Nadi and Nausori airports.

Islands Business has sent questions to Fiji Airports Limited, which they have yet to respond to.