Thursday, May 16, 2013

■ SOMALIA: Government assumes control of its airspace from CACAS as Somaliland bans all UN flights in retaliation.

Somalia's Minister for Information, Abdullahi Elmoge Hersi, says his government has once more resumed control of its national airspace after twenty years following a handing over ceremony held at Mogadishu's Aden Adde International Airport with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) who collectively form the Civil Aviation Caretaker Authority for Somalia (CACAS).

Mr Hersi hailed the move as an important milestone in his fledgling government's attempt to restore some form of control and normality to daily life in the country.
We are very glad to see Somalia’s airspace back to the hands of current Federal Government following 22-years of conflict," he said.
Source [GasoorNews]
The signing ceremony in Mogadishu, Somalia
The signing ceremony in Mogadishu
Somalia recently completed the training of its first group of Air Traffic Controllers (ATCO) in Trabzon, Turkey in preparation for the handover.

Formed in 1993 shortly after the Somali government collapsed, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) recruited the ICAO to jointly establish a Technical Assistance Project to provide air transport operations through and within the airspace of Somalia known as the Caretaker Authority for Civil Aviation in Somalia (CACAS). Based out of Nairobi since 1997, CACAS was mandated to collect aviation fees on behalf of the Somali government with the funds to be put into a trust fund for Somalia's future aviation authority. Controversy looms, however, over alleged mismanagement of these funds with some sections of the Somali diaspora demanding an audit to determine where the money went.

In a further development, Somaliland has banned all UN-based overflights of its territory until further notice in retaliation to Mogadishu's move to assert its sovereignty over its skies.

Somaliland has been an autonomous state since the collapse of central rule in Mogadishu 20 years ago and has of late been locked in discussions with the capital regarding its aspirations for independence.