By Sami Zaptia.
London, 2 October 2019:
The Tripoli-based Ministry of Transport announced that it held a meeting yesterday to follow-up on the actions taken by the Ministry and its departments on the development of the departure and arrivals lounges and the maintenance of its airfield and aprons at Misrata airport.
It also followed up on the development of Zuwara airport from the air and land sides and the latest updates on the completion of the passenger lounge at Mitiga airport.
The meeting concluded that a programme of estimates for all the proposed work be submitted to the Faiez Serraj-led government through its Planning Ministry to obtain the necessary financial provisions for implementation.
It will be recalled that the US Department of State, Bureau of Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism, had in March this year awarded a contract to a US company, Culmen International, to provide security at three Libyan airports.
The contract involved increasing security at Mitiga, Tripoli International Airport and Misrata airports and capacity to monitor terrorist threats, screen against terrorist transit, and develop standard operating procedures to mitigate such threats at three key airports through assessments, equipment procurement, training, and the development of a national aviation security strategy. The project is to be entirely funded by the US grant.
It will also be recalled that n January this year the UK had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Libya’s Airports Authority to supply it with explosives detectors.
The MoU was part of the establishment of joint cooperation between the Libyan Ministry of Transport and the British Ministry of Transport, in the initial stage aimed at raising the level of security at Libya’s airports by providing security devices and equipment. The MoU also included the training of members of Libya’s security personnel in using the supplied devices.
Whilst the UK-Libya MoU is simply an MoU, the US Department of State has, according to Culmen, provided a financial grant to US company Culmen to actually carryout the counter terrorism security work.
It will also be recalled that the Libyan government held a conference on PPP in the airports sector and the Italian consortium that had been awarded the contract to build two terminals at Tripoli International Airport had recommended its work at the site in February – before Hafter launched his war on Tripoli on 4 April.