Gateway to the Central Division and Fiji’s capital

As evidenced in this aerial picture taken in 1973, Nausori Airport began expanding after WWII. Picture: SUPPLIED/HAROLD GATTY'S LEGACY

IT’S hard to picture Nausori airport, a symbolic part of the Central Division, without envisioning rain and cloud.

While not boasting the grandeur and somewhat sunny disposition of its bigger sister property in Nadi, Nausori airport has come a long way from its roots as an air base in World War II.

Our last edition highlighted the circumstances which led to the formation of the Nadi International Airport during the World War II and interestingly, Nausori falls into this category too.

While money was being poured into Nadi for the construction of an air base, grass strips and other support structures were set up at Nausori to help air force squadrons from a number of Allied Nations, including New Zealand and the United States of America.

According to Robert “Bob” Kennedy, who spent a number of years working at the airport with the then Air Pacific, one of the earliest squadrons to take on the airfield was the United States Air Force in the 1940s.

“The Americans brought in Airacobra fighters and offloaded them from the ship in Suva and took them to Nausori,” he recalls.

“What they did was they had a squadron of fighters there and if the Japanese were there, then they would have Nausori.

“So what happened was because it was grass and when it was wet, it was very slippery and the Airacobras couldn’t steer properly.”

  • Read more on this story from today’s the Fiji Times and the e-Edition.

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