Germany and Australia are supporting Afghanistan in building up a civilian air safety system. Today, Federal Foreign Office State Secretary Wolf-Ruthard Born and Australian Ambassador Peter Martin Tesch signed an agreement to that effect in the presence of the Afghan Deputy Minister for Transport and Civil Aviation.
Afghanistan will have a modern and effective airspace surveillance system as early as 2011. The country lies on the main air traffic route between Europe and South-East Asia. In 2008 a total of 73,500 aircraft passed through Afghan airspace, and in recent years the number of overflights has risen by approximately 10% per year. Even now, standard air traffic control is reaching its limits and can no longer deal with the rise in overflights.
For that reason the Federal Foreign Office is funding the installation of a satellite-based airspace surveillance system to the tune of around 13.4 million euro; Australia is contributing 3.5 million euro to this project. The cooperation with Australia means that solar units can be installed to allow the system to operate independently from the electricity grid.
The German Government is already cooperating with the United Arab Emirates and the Netherlands on upgrading airports in Mazar-e-Sharif and Tarin Kowt. The Federal Foreign Office will make a total of around 40 million euro available for the improvement of the Afghan air traffic sector.