By Goth Mohamed Goth
The Ministry of Civil Aviation and Air Transport today held a farewell function for 10 students who are expected to depart to Addis Abba, Ethiopia where they will be trained as technicians, air traffic controllers and meteorologists this being part of a project to hence Somaliland manpower development and which will finally result to the replacement of non-Somali staff with Somali nationals courtesy of the Ethiopian government which has offered to trains the Ministry of Aviation Staff.
The departing Ministry of Aviation staffs were awarded certificates for English language crash course which they took during today’s farewell ceremony which took place at Egal International Airport.
Director of Aviation department Mr. Said Mahad Illeye speaking at the function said, “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase our talent and apart from the personal experience the students will be representing the nation and that their future success as fully qualified air traffic controllers will comprehend the country as a whole .The Aviation official finally advised the students to uphold discipline within their ranks as their conduct will reflect on the image of the country..
Honorable Mahmoud Hashi Abdi , the Minister of Civil Avition and Air Transport speaking during the farewell ceremony today said, “ I am happy to be here today to bid farewell to the second batch of would be Somaliland born technicians, air traffic controllers and methodologists who will in future be responsible for controlling and monitoring Somaliland airspace.
The Aviation Minister added, “I would also like to use this opportunity to express my utmost gratitude to the Islamic online University and all those who we instrumental in preparing the students for the task which lays ahead of them but most of all to the government of Ethiopia which has provided us with the Somaliland students scholarships, once again on behalf of the people of Somaliland I say thank you.
These students once they complete their training course setting objectives and priorities for levels of service, for infrastructural development, for our own manpower development and for replacement of non-Somali staff with Somali nationals and this means we shall be preparing for the full transfer of the control of its airspace which was previously been controlled by Cacas and ICAO under the auspices of the UNDP and has successfully completed all the necessary preparations since we reinstated our independence from Somalia we haven’t had such opportunity to training fresh people.
“Our airspace has being for the last 24 years controlled by the Civil Aviation Caretaker Authority for Somalia headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya was established collaboratively by UNDP and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in 1996 for the sole purpose of safeguarding the flight aviation security of Somalia, after the collapse of central authority in Somalia in 199i since then It neither cultivated competent personnel nor put in place procedures for its regulatory roles not until last year when they agreed to train the first batch of the Somali air controllers hence need to groom and train our own future air traffic controllers to manage our lower air space in Ethiopia for the duration of one year,” he said.
Lastly the Minister of Aviation and Air Transport said, “Once this new breed of air traffic full complete their training course we shall have the capabilities to control of our national airspace will be tasked with our own air controllers and technicians who are experts in that field, he revealed that the government of Somaliland has requested the government of Ethiopia to assist in jointly managing the country’s upper Air space.
The first batch of 10 staff left the country last year and are currently undergoing training in Nairobi , Kenya under the auspices of UN-ICAO this being part of a project to hence Somali manpower development and which will finally result to the replacement of non-Somali staff with Somali nationals.
Also present during the ceremony were top officials in the Ministry of Aviation and Air Transport among the director of Aviation department Mr. Said Mahad, Mr. Muse Ibrahim Salaf, Director of Projects and Mr. Saddam Mohamed the ministry official spokesperson.