We encourage everyone to report any accidents, incidents or other safety-related aviation concerns. This information helps highlight where risk is most concentrated in Fiji's aviation environment.
To report an accident, call CAAF Landline 2224222
Or send complete the appropriate MOR form and send it to us.
Aviation related concern
Anyone can report an ‘aviation-related concern’. You don’t have to be involved in the aviation community to report something you see or hear that you think might harm aviation safety or security, or that might even be breaching Fijis Aviation Laws.
call CAAF Landline 2224222 during office hours. After hours, you can leave a message.
Or you can email email@example.com
The minimum acceptable heights for flying are laid out in Fiji's Air Navigation Regulations. Briefly stated, the minimum height an aircraft is allowed to fly over a city, town, or settlement, is 1000 feet above the highest obstacle, except when taking off or landing. Generally, 1000 ft is the height at which aircraft are flown within the circuit of an aerodrome.
Minimum heights for VFR flights
The minimum height over any other area is 500 feet. There are exceptions, such as aircraft flying within a low flying training area, in agricultural aircraft operations, during emergencies, and when the genuine purpose of the flight requires the aircraft to be flown at a lower height – such as during a police operation. Note that although rescue and police operations are sometimes carried out in specially marked helicopters, they can be carried out in any aircraft.
Some people contact us to complain about the noise from aircraft. If you think the aircraft is noisy because it’s flying too low, it may be breaking Fiji's Aviation Laws. In that case, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sometimes people complain about the noise produced by an aircraft, but the flight is, in fact, legal. (That means the aircraft is flying at or above the minimum allowable height – see previous section “Low flying”). If there’s no threat to aviation safety, we can do very little about noise alone.
If the flight is legal but you believe the aircraft operator isn’t taking enough care to reduce noise for residents, you can contact the aircraft operator concerned directly, or your local territorial authority.
Before you do, try to note the aircraft’s registration. It will be three letters (sometimes two on a helicopter), and sometimes preceded with “DQ-”.
If you know the registration, you may be able to find the operator’s name from our aircraft register.
If you can’t see the name of the operator on the register, you can ask for it by emailing email@example.com.
Nadi and Nausori International airports have noise abatement procedures. If you think an aircraft is flying in breach of those, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information about noise abatement, see CAAF aeronautical Information circulars
Condensation trails (contrails) are formed by the condensation of water vapour emitted from the exhaust of aircraft flying at high altitude.
We sometimes receive reports about trails visible in the sky, from people who are concerned about them. The following is a description of the trails we receive reports about.
There are six reasons for an aircraft leaving a visible trail as it flies through the sky:
- Exhaust condensation (contrails)
- Fuel jettison (fuel dumping)
- Tip vortices
- Exhaust smoke
- Waste ‘grey water’ from sinks on board passenger aircraft. (Note that toilet waste cannot be discharged in flight, because there’s no on-board control to open the valve.
Any other discharge of material from an aircraft is prohibited by Fiji Aviation Laws. The legislation prohibiting discharge of substances from aircraft is aligned with the international rules set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
Condensation trails (‘contrails’) are line-shaped clouds formed by water vapour emitted from the exhaust of high altitude- aircraft condensing into ice particles.
They pose no direct threat to public health.
The temperature decreases by around two degrees Celcius (C) per 1000 ft. That means on a day that’s 20 degrees at ground level, it will be zero degrees at 10,000 feet, and -40 degrees C at 30,000 feet. Commercial airliners will frequently fly higher than 30,000 ft, over Fiji FIR, they typically cruise between 32,000 ft and 36,000 ft.
When hydrocarbon fuels, such as petrol or kerosene are burned in air, one of the products is water vapour (steam). The water vapour comes out of the engine mixed with the exhaust gases, at several hundred degrees, not as droplets of water, but as superheated colourless water vapour.
On contact with the freezing outside air, the vapour condenses into white ice crystals. Cirrus clouds form in the same way when water vapour from the earth’s surface is carried aloft by high winds. Contrails are often visible, and persist longer, on the days when cirrus clouds are also present.
Contrails may disperse within a few minutes due to natural evaporation. But when atmospheric conditions are particularly cold, or there’s already a lot of water vapour in the atmosphere, such as ahead of an approaching storm, they may persist for several hours.
When they linger, subsequent flights can leave parallel trails, highlighting the ‘airways’ that commercial aircraft follow. In Fiji, these are usually aligned north-south or North east-South west to and from New Zealand.
Occasionally, the combination of natural moisture in the upper atmosphere and extra water vapour from jet exhaust is enough to form cirrus clouds. In these conditions, contrails not only persist but may spread into a broad thin band.
Engine smoke, tip vortices, and fuel dumping
Some aircraft operating in Fiji may produce a slight trail of exhaust smoke, particularly older aircraft operating at high power, such as immediately after take-off.
On days with high humidity (just before or after rain), aircraft coming into land may leave thin trails of white vapour from near the tips of their wings. This is caused by atmospheric water vapour condensing within the vortex of low pressure created by air flowing over the wing.
Aerodynamic contrails are formed when humid air passes over the wing and loses pressure, cooling to the point that moisture condenses out. This can occur across the whole wingspan at once, and often results in a broad rainbow coming from the rear edge of the wing. It’s relatively rare but can occur at any altitude.
In an emergency, large aircraft may dump fuel from outlets on their wings to allow them to reduce weight and land more safely. This is done only under exceptional circumstances, such as a passenger medical emergency.
In Fiji, it seldom occurs and is even less likely to be observed as air traffic control will direct the aircraft well out to sea if dumping.
For further information, refer to
- Laws of Fiji
- CAAF Standards Documents
- CAAF Application Forms
- CAAF Aeronautical Information Circulars
- CAAF Guidance Documents
If you have any questions about this topic, email email@example.com