The Herat Airport upgrade project will be financed by a ‘soft loan’ of 29.3 million euros from the Italian Government and will be implemented by the Afghanistan Civil Aviation Authority (ACAA).
The upgrade will bring state-of-the-art equipment and facilities to the international airport, in an effort to further develop the country’s civil aviation sector. Its operations will be run entirely by Afghans.
A steering committee meeting held on 22 November 2015 to discuss the upcoming project was attended by Captain Adel Rasooli and Temoor Shah Hameedi, Director and Deputy Director of Airports, representing the ACAA, and Bill Mellors, UNOPS Airport Development Advisor and his national assistant, Hasibullah Soroush.
The airport will increase socio-economic opportunities in the western region of the country, including trade and employment, while providing a facility capable of handling approximately one million passengers per year. Herat Airport is one of four international airports in Afghanistan.
The new cargo facility will also open trade routes in and out of the country.
Also discussed at the meeting was Italy’s assistance for the implementation of the Herat-Chisht-e-sharif road and the Torghondi-Herat railway projects. All parties emphasized the timely implementation of these projects, as well as full transparency and accountability to the Afghan public.
UNOPS was recognized for the integral role it played in assisting the ACAA in their preparations for the Herat Airport Upgrade Project and, in particular, enabling them to meet the preconditions for receiving the ‘soft loan.’
This was achieved through the planning and implementing of a UNOPS-managed airport continuity plan, which provided infrastructure and specialist equipment to the airport and its staff. UNOPS also designed and managed a manning plan for the airport, as well as a training structure for both basic and on-the-job training for 61 ACAA personnel, to meet ICAO requirements.
This preparatory work was also made possible by a grant from the Government of Italy.