Today in Kabul the German Ambassador in Afghanistan, Werner-Hans Lauk, and the Afghan Finance Minister, Omar Zakhilwal, signed a financing agreement for another Afghan air safety project.
This project aims to improve flight surveillance in Afghanistan’s airspace, something expressly requested by the Afghan government and urgently needed: The main flight routes between Europe and South-East Asia, among others, run across Afghanistan, and the major increase in air traffic has led to nearly 80 “near-misses” in 2008 alone.
The project’s technical implementation will be coordinated by the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau – Reconstruction Loan Corporation (KfW), and involves the installation of a multilateration system at the country’s major airports. The equipment itself, training for the operators and the elaboration of a location plan for the individual system components will cost a total of 12.4 million euro. The system is due to start operating as early as next year.
The financing of the multilateration system is 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 purpose until 2011.
The German Government is 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. In addition, Germany and Singapore are jointly training air-safety personnel for the airports.