After five years of conflict, the poorest of the nations of the Middle East, Yemen, has somewhat stabilized. The official government, headed by President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, fought rebels backed by the UAE (United Arab Emirates) that had, at one time, seized major parts of the southern Governorate of Aden. In August 2019, the government retook Aden, including the airport, a vital transportation hub in the region. Since then, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which backed the Yemeni government in the conflict, has held various project development meetings and is now ready to begin reconstruction of the Aden airport.
The outbreak of the conflict in early 2015 forced Aden Airport to close, and since July 2015, when Saudi planes delivering aid and equipment became the first aircraft to land at the airport in four months, the facility has seen only sporadic and very limited service. Aden International Airport currently operates six flights per week at very high cost, with all flights regional. Under the project, airport capacity and the planned volume of air traffic will increase during 2020.
Under the SDRPY (Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen) Phase I of the project, Aden Airport will undergo full modernization and expansion. The project leaders claim the airport will become a world-class hub for international and domestic flights. Among the challenges will be convincing international, regional and domestic airlines to open facilities at the airport.
The project will proceed in three phases. Phase I focuses on providing electricity, safety measures, and transportation. The external main gates and roads of the complex will be studied and redesigned, and passenger transport buses provided.
Phase II will consist of constructing and connecting vital service systems, such as telecommunications, navigation and air traffic control. Rehabilitation of the runway and taxi areas, gates, and tunnels connecting gates to aircraft will also be undertaken.
Phase III will focus on alignment of airport facilities and operations with ICAO standards in all areas, including safety, electricity supply, interior and exterior infrastructure, air traffic control and navigation.
Aden Airport is both the oldest air transportation hub in Yemen and currently the most important, with the potential to generate substantial income and jobs both for the densely populated Aden Governorate and for Yemen as a whole, as trade and tax revenues increase.
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