Puntland President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali on Thursday morning launched the long awaited upgrading works of Bosaso airport to international standards, the commercial hub of Somalia’s semi-autonomous region.
The upgrade, which will cost up to $10-million USD will include extending the airport’s runway from 1.8km to 2.65km, the construction of duty-free shops and more parking lots, and the expansion of immigration offices.
The project will be undertaken by China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC). And according to government and company officials, the new runway will be operational before the end of 2015 year.
Speaking after presiding over the ground-breaking ceremony, President Abdiweli Gaas noted that the new project is among developments that his government promised to fulfill after taking over power in the beginning of the year.
‘’This project, which we are laying down its foundation stone today, has great value to the Puntland community and it is a clear example of realizing everything that is sought with great will and dedication,’’ he said during the ceremony.
He called upon the communities in the state to cooperate and help the company during the construction process and stressed that it will be a major contribution to the region’s economy.
‘’The government programs of developing public infrastructure are also contributing to the creation of employment opportunities, which will reduce the widespread poverty across our nation at different levels and areas,’’ he added.
One of the Engineers conducting the project said he was “excited by the prospect that Bosaso Airport will soon present itself to the whole world in a new appearance.”
Bosaso airport upgrade works was denied by the recent administration led by EX-president Abdirahman Farole, which led to many important flights to switch to other airports in the country. However, upon completion of the works, the airport is expected to attract back many Airline companies and resume their daily local and international flights.