The ongoing construction works at the Berbera International Airport in Somaliland, the second in the country after the Egal International Airport, is edging closer to completion with new infrastructure being put in place to make it one of the most modern aviation facilities in the continent, according to Dritan Gjonbalaj, the airport Director-General.
“We have put serious investment in infrastructure and equipment to ensure that the airport meets international standards and our dedicated team is putting in the finishing touches to the few remaining works before we undergo the necessary certification audits by the national aviation authorities of Somaliland,”
“As part of our commitment to building and maintaining a robust, reliable and trusted safety management system, we will also undergo a comprehensive audit by an independent international team of top-notch aviation experts to confirm our compliance with standards of the relevant Annexes to the Chicago Convention on all aspects of aviation safety and security” explained the Director-General.
Need to rebuild the Berbera airport
The Berbera airport was initially built by the Soviet Union in the 1970s, with a 4km runway, one of the longest in Africa. It was rented by Nasa during the 1980s as an emergency landing site for the Space Shuttle until 1991 when the government of former President of Somalia Siad Barre collapsed.
With the Somaliland government’s vision to turn Berbera city into an economic hub, there grew a need to rebuild the airport to serve the needs of both local and international investors and tourists at the same time.
The expected opening of the airport will add to the growing status of Berbera which has already been boosted by the brand new Berbera Seaport, the four-lane highway under construction linking the town to the Ethiopian border through the capital Hargeisa and the planned construction of the multi-million Berbera Economic Free Zone.