The Federal Government of Somalia’s Ministry of Transportation and its Aviation wing take over full management and responsibility of Somalia/Somaliland airspace management and control today with Somaliland looking on as a helpless bystander.

Nairobi will completely stop the much-decremented responsibility it was handling thus far as a caretaker until today’s deadline.

Following the installation of requisite equipment and transfer of skilled personnel from the FISS office located in Nairobi to Adan Adde International Airport over the past few months, with the full blessing of ICAO, the government of  Somalia is set to completely relocate the FISS project handled and managed by ICAO in Nairobi to Mogadishu on 30th of this month. From then on, Nairobi will no longer figure in any form on Somali airspace.Image may contain: people sitting and indoor

This comes after the Somalia government has already relocated the bulk of the staff that were stationed in Nairobi for more than 20 years to Mogadishu on 27 March of this year.

President Farmajo and his government have started to hasten the process of transferring the airspace to Mogadishu since they took over office to appeal to the Somalia people who have had high hopes of them. It did not happen as planned since the government failed miserably as the high expectations and the pressure to perform has caused the infant government to make major flaws and mistakes in handling the transfer of the airspace. For instance, the main equipment and systems that should have been fully operational before the relocation did not, or are flawed or had been completely abandoned due to malfunctions or absence of requisite skills.

For example, the Controllor pilot data link communication or (CPDLC), which is a method by which air traffic controllers can communicate with pilots over a data link system, was abandoned due to its inability to become fully functional in Mogadishu. Was this because of faulty equipment bought or inexperienced staff and no technical know-how on how to operate the system by the officials of both ICAO and Somalia remains a mystery.Image result for Qalabka hawada SomaliaThe aeronautical message handling system used to transmit messages like flight plans and NOTAMs from station to station (another integral system vital to operations) which was also set to be operational by the time responsibilities were handed over to Mogadishu is also said to be not functioning well. As it sends uninitiated messages to unknown destinations and cannot save data intended for it to save for the purposes of aeronautical information.

Prior to officially announcing the relocation, ICAO and the government of Somalia had an agreement that once Mogadishu was fully equipped, another duty station was to be also equipped fully as a secondary center on standby in case anything happened to the main Mogadishu station. That part of the agreement seems to have been forgotten by both sides. Furthermore, all major aerodromes in the country were to be equipped. The relocation was to happen only and only if all of these feats were completed, but again it seems it have been forgotten intentionally to hasten the relocation process only as a means of a publicity stunt.

Rumors that are yet to be confirmed imply that the government of Somalia is transferring the airspace of Somalia to Mogadishu only to hand it over to another party, this time an Italian company to manage the main functions of the airspace from Italy. This information is yet to be confirmed by any official and its authenticity will or will not surface in due time.

The government of Somaliland is accused of a gross dereliction of duty. For one, it would have been able to block the transfer if it played its cards right. It did not. Again, it could have demanded the installation of equipment at Hargeisa airport as a the secondary manager and the transfer of Somaliland-born skilled staff to EIA. Again, it did not.

Image result for Qalabka hawada SomaliaICAO, without the least doubt, is criminally complicit in the transfer being a UN body that should have played an objective – if not an active intermediary role – in the co-management of Somaliland-Somalia airspace as the issue was central to the international community brokered talks between the two sides.

There is no doubt a day will come that somebody higher up in the Somaliland government will get punished severely for helping Somalia best Somaliland on all accounts – and especially as related to airspace management, proceeds, revenue and control.

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