Fiji Airports Hosts Premier ARFF Training, Elevating Regional Safety

Fiji Airports is hosting, for the first time, a two-week Qual-PAC 24 International Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) training in Nadi, which aims to improve the skill set and readiness of its emergency responders.

This event which started on May 13 features five international ARFF specialists and one that CEO Mesake Nawari  described as “a matter of life and death.”

“Their ability to execute their duties with safety and efficiency is … critical. Technological advancements in both aviation and firefighting equipment are ongoing, and as new technologies emerge, ARFF personnel must stay abreast of these changes,” Nawari said. “Regular training sessions are necessary to introduce these new tools and techniques. This not only enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of the service but also ensures that all operations are conducted using the latest and most effective methods.”

The courses, funded with a quarter million dollars by Fiji Airports, also allow for extensive training within a unique local environment, reducing costs associated with international training and enabling more personnel to benefit.

“It also presents an exceptional opportunity for our Pacific Island neighbours to attend this much-needed ARFF training. This is in line with improving safety at our airports and is a pivotal step in enhancing Fiji Airports’ position as a leader in aviation in our region,” Nawari added.

Qual-PAC 24, anticipated to be a premier ARFF training event for 2024, includes site visits and mock exercises to enhance operational effectiveness. 

Event Director Peter McMahon praised Fiji Airports’ commitment, noting the lasting impact on firefighter training and setting the stage for future events.

Participant and senior firefighter Ahmed Alblooshi from Sharjah International Airport in the United Arab Emirates praised the training program and instructors at the end of the first week. Alblooshi said he enjoyed the Senior Airport Fire Officer (SAFO) course and will recommend the Respond to Aviation Incidents and Emergency Response Driver Workshop to his colleagues back in the UAE.

Participants in the two-week training come from Sharjah International Airport (UAE), Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, Australia, New Zealand, Cook Islands, Nauru, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Tonga, and Fiji (including Fiji Airports ARFFS officers from Rotuma, Taveuni, Nausori, Savusavu, Labasa, Nadi, and the National Fire Authority).

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