Thursday, June 20, 2024
UAE based aviation company to manage Afghan air traffic control

UAE based aviation company to manage Afghan air traffic control

 

Since the United States and its allies withdrew their forces from Afghan air traffic control on August 31 last year, Afghan airspace has remained under Taliban control and virtually closed to overflights. The airspace was deemed uncontrolled with only a handful of flights operating from Kabul International Airport in Afghanistan.

Given the vital importance of the airline industry and how it would revitalize Afghanistan’s crippled economy, the Taliban are trying to attract more international air operations. However, additional support is needed to manage the country’s vast airspace and air traffic created by the return of major foreign airlines to Kabul airport.

Who will be the new operator?

On September 8, the Taliban announced the signing of the third and final major contract for the operation of Afghan airports with GAAC Holding, based in Abu Dhabi. The three airports covered by the agreement are Kabul Airport, Ahmad Shah Baba International Airport and Khwaja Abdulla Ansari International Airport.

The final agreement is expected to bring major international airlines back to Afghanistan and is part of more than $300 million GAAC plans to invest in the country over a 10-year period to develop its airline industry. Ghulam Jilani Wafa, Deputy Head of Civil Aviation of Afghanistan, said:

“Despite our two previous contracts, we still had a bit of a vacuum in our operations when it came to guiding flights through Afghanistan’s airspace. We were running out of equipment, some equipment was broken and this limits our operations ”. “Despite our two previous contracts, we still had a bit of a vacuum in our operations when it came to guiding flights through Afghanistan’s airspace. We were running out of equipment while some equipment was broken and this is limiting our operations. “

The first agreement was signed in March and included ground handling services after months of talks between the Taliban and the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Qatar. Originally, Turkey and Qatar were to take over the operation of the airports. There was also the possibility of a joint agreement between the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Qatar to operate the airports. Unfortunately, deals with Turkey and Qatar fell through after the Taliban rejected demands to station their own security personnel at airports.

The second agreement was signed in May and allowed GAAC to cover security at Afghan airports, such as passenger screening. Overall, the agreement will allow GAAC to operationalize Afghanistan’s airspace and restore navigation services. This includes air traffic control, communications, surveillance systems and meteorological services.

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, Deputy Prime Minister of Afghan air traffic control, said:

“Today’s signing ceremony in Kabul strengthens the economy, which is a priority for the government. This agreement will have a positive impact on this country’s trade and economic growth in terms of job creation.”

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