Update: 2:41PM LAND resource owners who consent to the use of their land for public purposes must be compensated in accordance with acceptable standards of land valuation principles and norms, according to iTaukei Land Trust Board (TLTB) general manager Alipate Qetaki.
Referring to continuous discussions and negotiations for the acquisition of iTaukei lands earmarked for the expansion of the Nausori Airport, Mr Qetaki said ensuring landowners' interests were met satisfactorily was very important.
"This is not a new thing. The government and director of Lands are fully aware of this. Payments of premium for lands acquired and compensation for crops on the land are part of the deal," he said today.
"TLTB supports and facilitates major government infrastructure programs including the Nausori Airport extension program.
"TLTB has been working extremely hard, in consultations with the landowners in Naselai Village, tikina of Nuku in Tailevu and other stakeholders to ensure the process and procedures for acquisition of the iTaukei lands for the Nausori Airport are followed through."
Last year, Airports Fiji Limited revealed a new-look airport would include an extension to the runway from its present 1868 metres to 2300m, long enough to accommodate larger aircrafts such as Air Pacific's Airbus A330-200 fleet.