Singapore’s Ambassador Jacky Foo and the German Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Bernd Mützelburg, signed an agreement in Berlin today on cooperation between the two countries on air safety in Afghanistan. Afghan airport personnel are to receive basic and further training.
The aim of the joint initiative is to improve safety in Afghanistan’s civil aviation sector. Along with missing or outdated technical equipment, another reason for safety problems is poorly trained staff. In an initial measure, 40 members of the Afghan Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation are to attend special courses on airport management in 2009. Germany and Singapore will each provide half of the 180,000 euro budget for these seminars, which will take place at the Singapore Aviation Academy. If this proves to be a success, the initiative will be continued next year.
These training measures are part of Germany’s wide-ranging engagement in improving air safety in Afghanistan. The Federal Foreign Office will make available around 40 million euro for this end until 2011.
The German Government is, for example, cooperating with the United Arab Emirates on upgrading the airport in Mazar-e-Sharif, the seat of ISAF Regional Command North, which is led by Germany. In collaboration with the Netherlands, Tarin Kowt airfield in the south of the country is being rebuilt. Another project planned is the installation of a multilateration system to improve air traffic control.