Somalia to take over control of airspace by year end

Somalia is preparing to take over the control of its airspace from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for the first time in two decades.

Somali Information Minister Abdullahi Elmoge Hirsi and Peter Noad from the International Civil Aviation Organization have signed an agreement that will see the country take over the control of its airspace by the end of this year.

One hundred airspace personnel are also scheduled to be transferred to the capital Mogadishu for management duties, while another batch will travel to Kenya for training.

After the collapse of Somalia’s central government in the 1991 civil war, the United Nations Development Program and the International Civil Aviation Organization founded a civil aviation caretaker authority for Somalia in Kenya’s capital Nairobi. The organization was charged with collecting over-flight revenues on behalf of Somalia.

“As Mogadishu is rejoicing, the self-declared republic of Somaliland located in north-western Somalia is outraged at Mogadishu for assuming full control of the country’s entire airspace, including that of Somaliland.”

The breakaway region of Somaliland has banned all UN flights from its airports, to protest Mogadishu’s taking over the control of the country’s airspace.

The two sides are set to hold talks, but many fear that the discussions might collapse.

Aviation experts however argue that time is ripe for Somalia to claim sovereignty of its airspace, because the Mogadishu administration is in a better position.

Somaliland unilaterally declared independence from Somalia in 1991, but it is still regarded as part of Somalia by Mogadishu.

Source: Press TV

Xafiiska Wararka Midnimo, webmaster@midnimo.com

midnimo12@googlemail.com

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