16 Sep 2002

Landowners threatened to turn off landing beacon at Nadi airport

10:58 am on 16 September 2002

Landowners near Fiji's Nadi International Airport say they will turn off the power to a landing beacon if talks are not held today to sort out the lease.

The navigational aid is on the villagers land below the flightpath into the airport, which is the hub of Fiji's tourism industry.

A spokesman for the landowners, Vilikesa Tabuavou, says they want to sort out a proper lease.

He says they have been paid around seventy five Us dollars every six months for many years, but every time they try to raise the issue they get no response from Airports Fiji, or the Native Lands Trust Board.

Mr Tabuavou told the Sunday Times that the government owned Ariports Fiji gets millions of dollars in revenue through running Nadi airport.

The dispute is among a growing number involving indigenous Fijians.

Last week, police arrested landowners allegedly involved in evicting 42 members of an extended family of Indian cane farmers.