6 foreign firms eye Afghan air traffic contract
KABUL (Pajhwok): Bids from at least six foreign companies to take on the contract for the country’s air traffic control were discussed at a consultative meeting in Kabul, the aviation authority said on Monday.
The Afghanistan Civil Aviation Authority (ACAA) in a statement said the consultative meeting between ACAA officials and representatives of the companies conferred on the conditions for the contract.
However, the statement did not reveal the names of the companies. ACAA Deputy Head Mahmoud Shah Habibi stressed his department would be in close cooperation with the companies interested.
“The bidding process would continue for next 10 days and after that the ACAA would review the proposals,” the ACAA statement said, adding a company with higher capabilities and capacities would be awarded the contract.
The current contract to control Afghanistan air traffic with the United States expires by the end of June, a development that could see Afghanistan basically becomes a no-fly zone for international airlines.
The key air corridor between Europe and Asia has been managed by the US-led international military coalition or foreign companies paid by donor countries since 2001.
Two days earlier, Habibi said the Afghans lacked the capacity to control the air space, which he said was still 50 percent controlled by the American professionals.
He said a new professional company must be awarded the contract so that Afghanistan could continue controlling its airspace.
Currently 250 to 350 planes fly over Afghanistan on a daily basis, with each flight earning the Afghan government $400 to $500 in tax.
Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said on Friday last that the US had spent $562 million in past 13 years improving the Afghanistan aviation but Afghans did not receive any training in the area.
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