So many Iraqi Airports, so few Planes

By Wassim Bassem for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. 

Even if it were true that Sumerians built the first airport at Nasiriyah in 5000 BC, as Iraqi Transport Minister Kazem Finjan claimed in October, they would be shocked at the state of Iraqi aviation today.

While Kazem said Iraq’s early settlers used the airport as a base for exploring space, allegedly even discovering Pluto, Iraqis today would be happy to discover planes at their local airport. The Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority announced April 12 that a number of the country’s airports will be rehabilitated, but as critics have pointed out, one small problem remains: There are not enough planes to serve them.

After Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait in August 1990, the international community imposed an air embargo and other sanctions on the country, which were lifted in 2003 after the overthrow of President Saddam Hussein. Provincial and local governments, in an effort to catch up with developments in the global transport sector, sought to establish airports in every city, but with little apparent consideration given to providing the airports with the required equipment, including planes.

The building spree included airports in Erbil and Sulaimaniyah (2005), Najaf (2008) and Dahuk (2012). On March 6, the Dhi Qar airport in Nasiriyah began weekly flights to Baghdad. Meanwhile, other Iraqi cities are also looking to establish air connections.

A year ago, the Babil governorate signed a memorandum of understanding with a French company for an international airport. A cornerstone for an international airport at Karbala was laid in January, and on April 6 another was laid in Kut. On March 12, the Transport Ministry confirmed that it will turn the military airport at Diwaniyah into a civil facility. Mosul’s airport is reportedly slated for rehabilitation after the city’s liberation from the Islamic State.

2 Responses to So many Iraqi Airports, so few Planes

  1. Brad Adams April 22, 2017 at 4:56 am #

    The article states that Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait. I would like to see a link explaining why she invaded Kuwait. People should know the illegal drilling Kuwait was doing.

  2. A.J. aziz April 22, 2017 at 8:22 pm #

    In Brasil there is more planes than USA , it is huge size country , while Iraq is less than 1000 Km from north to south , there might be a need for small private planes , cheap , like Brasil ( but Brasil produces planes ) we produce Mullas and kites , This Minister is sea captain , he knows nothing about anything with wings , so Iraq plagued with such men , who wants to have airports , as he puts canoes in in water < he is another joke < just like other Ministers ( Minister of Foreign affairs last statement said Tigris river originates from Iran so Euphrates river , and he is Foreign affairs Minister , he shall remain so till we either believe in his ill fated way of thinking , so we become PHD holders of stupidity , this new Iraq , plagued with Morons , rovers , thieves , pimps < all is the product of occupying Iraq by so called United States of America

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