Why Somaliland’s delegation claims victory over Airspaces agreement, before the detailed information?

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By: Eng. Hassan Muhumed Aw Hassan

Somalilandsun – When politicians make a statement to the public they tell us their point of view, even if that statement is far from the truth. They are not talking to us, they are talking to their leader and that is sign of weakness. It is up to the public carefully to listen to their speech and analyze it.

When Somaliland delegation landed at Berbera airport, they made a press conference. They told us, we got back Somaliland airspace and that is a victory. That statement demonstrated lack of informed judgment.

First Somaliland never had control over their airspace. It has been controlled by Cacas and ICAO. Secondly, what is agreed upon is to transfer Air traffic control center called Mogadishu center to Hargeisa. As far as UN concerned nothing changed. UN recognizes only Somalia.

This Mogadishu center which is now located in Nairobi controls the outer space of Somaliland and Somalia. It has been using Somalia code and it will be using it where ever the center is located.

It looks like Somalia delegation out smarted Somaliland delegation on this issue. You see Somalia was always desperate to set its foot on Somaliland affairs and this time they succeeded. As I heard the chairman for the committee running the center will be appointed from Somalia, he and other members will be located in Hargeisa. Two committees will control the most important part of airport functions, the ATC, ground based communication system and the fee from the planes.

Somaliland authority react when something happens, they never plan things for tomorrow. Case in point, the aviation department existed almost 20 years, they never asked ICAO to train for them ATC, and Communications technicians. There are only 2 or 3 controllers and 2 technicians which have experience and have been working in this field for a long time and can immediately start with this center. ICAO sends Kenyan technicians. These Kenyan technicians make good salary which would have been more than enough salary for 7 or 8 local Somalilanders. It takes maximum 2 years to train a good technician. The whole Aviation Ministry does not have a communications Engineer. How can you run an airport without communication Engineer is a mystery to me.

If Somaliland authorities play their card close to their chest when they are negotiating, a good outcome will be reached for the country. This center works 24 hours, because most of the over flight planes fly at night and majority of them fly over Somaliland’s airspace. Each aircraft pays a fee. The total fee collected from the aircrafts is estimated to be10 million to 15 million dollars a year. Although this money will be deposited in Somalia account, Somaliland would get its share after negotiation with Somalia. Meanwhile Somaliland should keep the ban on UN aircrafts until they get satisfactory results from the negotiations.

Aviation is very important field and ICAO gives a lot of training and scholarships in the fields of Electronics, Air traffic controllers and weather.

By: Eng. Hassan Muhumed Aw Hassan

Email albaasawaj@gmail.com

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