-The transitional office of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Nairobi, who is monitoring Somalia’s airspace will stop its operation on Monday, Somali government official confirmed. The Horn of Africa Nation took back control of its airspace late last year, after more than two decades. Air traffic system had been controlled by the United Nations from neighbouring Kenya since 1992, a year after the Somali civil war broke out.
Somalia’s Aviation and Air Transport Minister, Mohamed Abdullahi Salad said, in a statement that the government of Somalia will fully start controlling the air traffic over the country from Mogadishu. The minister said the entire process of controlling the country’s skies from outside the country has come to an end on Monday. “Today 18th June 2018, Somalia’s airspace control office in Nairobi, which had been operating more than 25 years, will stop its function. Henceforth, all function of airspace control will take place in Mogadishu,” said Mr. Salad. Despite the initial agreement of operating in Nairobi for a period of one and half years to make sure for a smooth transition, the government of Somalia has not yet given a reason.
In March, Somali government relocated 34 air control personnel to Mogadishu after operating outside the country for 27 years. The staffs who works at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)’s Flight Information Service of Somalia (FISS) center in Nairobi, were transferred to Mogadishu. Prior to the collapse of Somalia’s central government led by late Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991, the country effectively and efficiently managed and controlled its airspace, and was able to collect overfly charges. When the country plunged into civil war, Somalia lost millions of dollars, as there was no credible oversight organization, despite ICAO operations to control the air traffic over Somalia.