By Sami Zaptia and Seraj Essul.
Tripoli, 6 May 2014:
Brak airport’s upgrade work should end towards the end of May, Mhemmad Alajili . . .[restrict]told Libya Herald in an exclusive telephone interview from Brak.
Alajili is one of the leading local NGO activists that has been pushing the Libyan authorities to open the airport for civilian use.
The upgrade is part of the Ministry of Transport projects to upgrade Libya’s regional airports, including that of Brak, near Sebha, about 700 km south of Tripoli.
Brak was originally a military airport which was opened up for civilian use in the 90’s for a few years before ceasing civilian flights, local Alajili explained.
However, after the February 17th Revolution, and in line with current decentralization government policy, as well as pressure from local Brak residents and activists, work started in April to recommence the airport’s civilian flights.
The maintenance and upgrade is divided into two phases, Alajili explained. The first phase involves maintaining the current passenger terminal as a short term measure, servicing the runway, including its markings, which is about three km in length, maintaining its lights, and upgrading the old fuel tanks.
The second phase of work, Alajili added, would be to build the new modern terminal and to incorporate it into the old one, build a two-floored administration building block and build a 2 km linking dual road between the airport and the main road.
Alajili said that Brak airport could start receiving passengers as soon as Civil Aviation Authority formalities were complete.
He felt that opening the civilian airport in Brak was important for the city and expected that there would be, as a start, no less than two flights per week to Tripoli.
Alajili felt the opening of the airport at this time is all the more important in view of the closure of Sebha airport. This temporary closure would redirect many passengers to Brak, he anticipated.
In the longer term, Alajili felt that the military part of Brak airport would be moved elsewhere or completely closed down.
The work at Brak airport was carried out by local Libyan companies. [/restrict]