President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo has pledged to transfer the control of the country’s airspace from ICAO to Somalia amid emerging claims neighbouring countries were seeking to be given control.
Somali Civil Aviation and Meteorology Agency director general Abdiwahi Omar Sheikh told Goobjoog News the president pledged to ensure immediate transfer following recent talks. “After discussing with us with enthusiasm, President Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo pledged to work on immediate transfer of Somalia airspace control to the country,” said Sheikh in an interview.
Sheikh said Somalia did not receive over-flight revenues from its airspace since 1994 when International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) established Civil Aviation Caretaker Authority for Somalia (CACAS) to manage the country’s airspace.
In a separate interview with VOA Somalia, Sheikh said there had been complaints from neighbouring countries about the poor air traffic control from Somalia and had sought to be handed the responsibility of managing the Somali airspace.
He accused CACAS which manages the country’s airspace of failing to control Somalia’s air traffic in a proper way.
“Exploiting the failure some countries including Seychelles, Kenya, Ethiopia and India submitted proposals asking to be granted the control of the airspace,” Sheikh noted.
He pointed out that the country’s air space controller which is based Nairobi 500 Nautical miles to south of Mogadishu was operating on obsolete equipment making it difficult to effectively manage the Somali airspace.
Somali ambassador to Kenya Mohamed Jamal announced mid last year he had brought the airspace control equipment to the country from Kenya to pave way for Somalia take-over of its airspace control.