SABAHIMogadishu's Aden Adde International Airport is on target for the smooth
transition of airport management to Favori LLC effective September 15th,
Friday, September 06, 2013
Favori is expected to upgrade Aden Adde International to global
airport standards, including building a new runway and starting 24-hour
operations, said Ali Mohamed Ibrahim, the airport's manager. At present,
the airport only operates during the day.
In the past few weeks, the company has been bringing in equipment
needed for upgrades, including cranes for loading and unloading cargo
from airplanes, and for building a jet fuel storage tank and pumping
station, Ibrahim said.
"The agreement with Favori to manage the airport is for a period of
20 years, during which the company will expand and rebuild the Mogadishu
airport," he told Sabahi, adding that the $3 million worth of equipment
has already reached the airport.
Favori, a Turkish state-owned company, was selected in January to run
the capital's airport after the Somali federal government rescinded a
10-year agreement signed in 2010 with Dubai-based SKA Air and Logistics,
saying SKA did not meet expectations.
SKA failed to fulfil the agreement that included upgrading the
airport with new equipment to streamline operations, said Deputy
Minister of Information, Posts and Telecommunications Abdishakur Ali
"This does not mean SKA did absolutely nothing while they managed
airport operations in Mogadishu," he told Sabahi, thanking the company
for its efforts.
In preparation for the management turnover, Favori has started
registering local airport employees currently under SKA payroll in order
to transfer their jobs.
Mohamed Ibrahim, an SKA employee who works in the luggage claim
section of the airport, said Favori has already registered at least 56
former SKA employees, and that number will be higher once the new
company takes over.
He said he is confident his employment will be extended by Favori for the coming years.
Ensuring airport security
Favori officials have also been meeting with SKA and federal
government officials to ensure the uninterrupted transition of security
duties at the airport, Radio Mogadishu reported.
Favori is expected to facilitate airport security alongside African
Union Mission in Somalia troops and Somali police, said Ali Salat, a
45-year-old police officer stationed at the airport.
"SKA had a security unit that we worked with and Favori similarly has
a security unit that we will work with," Salat told Sabahi.
"Security is principally the responsibility of police and security
forces," said airport police commander Hussein Abdinur Batar.
Police will continue to work with all partners operating at the airport to ensure there are no gaps, he told Sabahi.
Meanwhile, Aadan Kerow Abdi, a 36-year-old employee of the American
Refugee Committee in Mogadishu, said he is excited about the prospect of
having 24-hour service at the airport.
It is a positive step towards Somalia's recovery that will eliminate
some of the obstacles travellers to Somalia face, he told Sabahi, adding
that the airport's limited operations are particularly inconvenient for
the many passengers who travel for work.