01 July 2008

PR# 2008-299

Agreement begins transition of Kabul airport to Afghanistan control

Left to right: His Excellency Hamidullah Qaderi, Afghan Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, and Major General J.L.H. Eikelboom, Director of ISAF’s Air Coordination Element
(Credit NATO)

KABUL, Afghanistan - Afghanistan and ISAF took the first steps June 30 to transition air traffic control at Kabul International Airport to the country’s government.

His Excellency Hamidullah Qaderi, Afghan Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, and Major General J.L.H. Eikelboom, Director of ISAF’s Air Coordination Element, met to sign a letter of agreement to begin the process.

Currently ISAF provides and manages all air traffic controllers at the airport. With this agreement, ISAF will bring in civilian controllers who are internationally certified. ISAF will then train the civilian controllers on the specifics of Kabul International Airport. Once the civilian controllers are locally certified, ISAF controllers will turn the civilian controllers and responsibility over to the Afghanistan government.

With Afghanistan’s guidance, the fully qualified civilian controllers will begin training Afghans for the job. In time, the civilian contractors will be able to depart, leaving the tower of Afghanistan’s largest airport run solely by Afghans.

“This is an important step for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,” said Brigadier General Carlos Branco, ISAF spokesperson. “The government is ready for this move, and ISAF is here to help make this a smooth transition. In the end, it will also mean more jobs for Afghans.”

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/