Turkey agrees to run Kabul airport in NATO deal: UAE report
The Turkish government has agreed to take over responsibility for Kabul’s international airport in a $130 million deal with NATO, an Afghan government official told the UAE’s The National newspaper.
Afghan Voice Agency (AVA)_This comes after weeks of uncertainty over the security of the Hamid #Karzai International Airport in Kabul city.
According to The National, the details and the exact takeover date are yet to be confirmed. However, the media outlet said a second senior source had also confirmed the decision.
This comes after the Afghanistan Civil Aviation Authority asked #NATO last month to hand over control of the air traffic control tower at #Kabul’s_airport, which sparked concerns over the Afghan government’s capacity to safely and securely run its international airports following the withdrawal.
A government official said last month on condition of anonymity that Afghanistan does not have the capacity to run the airports on their own due to a lack of expertise.
Andrew Watkins, a senior analyst on Afghanistan for the#International_Crisis_Group, told The National that the deal with Turkey will calm the nerves of international governments and donors, but that many issues will still remain.
“There is a web of capacity gaps in the Afghan authorities’ security information, screening and inspection procedures to prevent smuggling, as well as concerns over the fairness of the contracting process due to prevalent corruption within the government,” he said.
Watkins also told The National that there has been no opportunity for Afghanistan to increase its capacity, as air traffic control has been run by NATO military staff since 2002.