Airports Fiji Limited prepares for surveillance control at Nadi

Airports Fiji Limited prepares for surveillance control at Nadi

With VV Approach, AFL were able to upskill controllers to prepare for the challenge of providing ADS-B services at Nadi International Airport.

Airports Fiji Limited (AFL) is the Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) for Fiji, responsible for Air Traffic Management services within the vast Nadi Flight Information Region, as well as overseeing 25 aerodromes. This includes international airports at Nadi and Nausori. Nadi International Airport (NFFN) is a critical hub, servicing both domestic and international flights with destinations such as Japan, China, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, and the US.

In 2014, in response to escalating traffic volumes and based on recommendations from regulators, AFL announced its intent to introduce Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADSB) services. This initiative was intended to replace the existing procedural approach function with surveillance Air Traffic Control (ATC) services.

The transition to the new operational system would be a challenging one, with wholesale changes to documentation and procedures required. With no pre-existing surveillance-based terminal area proficiency, a structured upskilling program was imperative. For this undertaking, AFL committee management identified Airways International and Visual Vectoring as ideal partners. The intention was that foundational surveillance training would be provided with the use of VV Approach. This would be succeeded by on-the-job training.

This strategy would obviate the expense of sending an initial cohort of controllers to an overseas facility for initial training.

In 2014 and again in 2017, the Visual Vectoring team travelled to Nadi to provide on-site induction and initial guidance in the use of the VV Approach program. This initiative involved sixteen controllers, who later would play a role in introducing others to the software. Laptop PCs were procured specifically for delivering the course, given that no alternative simulation platforms were available.

Our visits to Nadi were thoroughly enjoyable, and we are confident that our collaborative efforts have been instrumental in ushering the Fijian air traffic controllers into the era of surveillance. We would welcome the opportunity to again collaborate with the friendly controllers at AFL in any future project where Visual Vectoring technology can provide value.