Sunday, April 7, 2013

■ TURKEY: First group of Somali ATCOs completes course in Trabzon.

Turkish-Somali relations took yet another step forward last week with the completion of a training course in Trabzon, Turkey by Somali air traffic controllers (ATCOs). Two new controllers, Dahir Mohamed Gure and Mohammed Ali Nur, graduated and will be part of a new compliment of ATCOs bound for Mogadishu where works on a renewed terminal at Aden Adde International are underway.

Somali ATCOs in Trabzon
Somali ATCOs in Trabzon (Haber3)
Held under the auspices of a friendship agreement between the two countries, the regional director of Turkey's state Airports Authority, Vedat Atabek, said the first two ATCOs are to be followed by a second group whose training would improve both safety and efficiency in the war-torn Horn of Africa nation, who, despite having had no functional central government for the last 20 odd years, has seen a massive surge in air travel, with Mogadishu recording 40 flights per day, with the upgrade set to allow it to accommodate 60 or 1.8million passengers per year .

Training at Trabzon currently includes tower-related air traffic services and approach control.

Turkey has been instrumental in re-engaging Somalia, being amongst the first to establish direct flights to Mogadishu as well as opening an embassy in the still volatile capital.