By Goth Mohamed Goth

H.E Vice President Abdirahman Abdillahi Ismael “Saylici” today commissioned the second phase upgrade project which the government says is part of a bigger plan to improve the facility to make it a regional flight hub, the airport which was first constructed by the British Empire in 1958 and since has not had any major upgrade.

VP Saylici speaking during the function thanked the Kuwaiti government and expressed his appreciation on behalf of the people of Somaliland for their generous donation.

After the groundbreaking the VP was also given an in depth tour of the ongoing construction work which includes the 1.2 km of runway extension, this second phase was made possible by the fulfillment on our after the donor country was satisfied by the work on the previous project  hence the recent signing of the new agreement between Hon Mahmoud Abdi Hashi and Kuwaiti official in Kuwait which secured additional $5 Million to the project previous $10 Million used in the upgrading of facilities in the two major airports and the latest grant will be utilized for the construction 1.2 km of runway extension to the recently renovated 2,466M runaway , installation of lighting system for night landings as well a 70 KM security perimeter fence and aircraft hangars at the Egal international airport.

The existing length of the apron at the Egal international airport which is 1410M will be extended 100 x 50 meters in order to accommodate several aircrafts. For the safety and security of the passengers the Airport terminals and the Airport property the apron area will be  expanded so the aircrafts can park away from the terminal and maneuver easily around the apron without damage to terminal property or the aircraft itself.

The Minister of Aviation also added that the duration of the Kuwait funded projects expected to last for six month and it will officially commence on the 1st of March till August 2014 The Project will be jointly monitored by the National Tender Board, Ministry of Civil Aviation and representatives of the Kuwait Fund but all funds relating to the project shall be solely administered by representatives of the Kuwaiti fund as I heard said before we had agreed to this term with Kuwait because we are committed to be transparency with all donor funds, rather than say gives us the money, we tell them help us build infrastructure”. When the project is completed Kuwaiti Fund will turn the complete project back to Somaliland government.

Kuwait government will fund this project approximately with five million dollars, with the understanding that they will manage the allocation of the funds.

When the current government came to power the Egal airport was classed as class2 runaway but now its class 7 runaway and when its finally completed it will be Class 10 runaway.

Hon Mahmoud Hashi also revealed plans by the government for the acquisition of fire Fighting One of the important thing in airport environment is an Airport Rescue & Fire Fighting, this is the first respond in case an emergency at airport or in the vicinity of the airport & When the alarm sounds and aircraft rescue fire fighters (ARFF) are called to duty, they must use the skills they have learned through experience and training to save lives and to protect property.

He said the upgrade will contribute to the Somaliland society socially and economically as well as enhance Hargeisa city as a key regional flight hub in the future.