Somaliland: Egal Airport 1km Extension of the Runway & the Electrical System


New funds available to elongate runway and install lighting for night landings among others at Egal airport

By: Mohamed Ahmed Omar Cagadable

Somalilandsun – The Somaliland Government has recently received a new grant to finish the remaining 1KM of the runway and to build electrical system that will support for day and night operations of the Airport.

When construction of this size is to be done to an Airport, it should be conducted in bidding processes and the contract should be awarded to contractor who is accredited and well experienced in construction of airport, Runway, taxiway lights and the complete of airport electrical system. Also that company must pass vigorous background check and must show prove on previous work completed in international level.

As per ICAO definition Aerodrome is a defined area on land or water (including any buildings, installations and equipment) intended to be used either wholly or in part for the arrival, departure and surface movement of aircraft.

The previous contractor was new to the arena of Aerodrome constructions, never had the experience to build Airport runway before and the method of awarding the contract was not in line with the normal or international Standards. Although the current Somaliland government and the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Air Transport has done good thing for the country, many of its citizen had criticized the way it manages or awards the contractors. In the real world not only Aerodrome but even when renovations of streets or highways are to be done the standard method is to remove the old Asphalt by way of peeling or scraping off the top part. This is the same method that any airport in the world will use when renovating and resurfacing the asphalt of the Airport Runway. History and time will judge that project. Make no mistake the new project to extent the runway by 1KM is completely different then the pervious renovation of Hargeisa Airport runway, this will be totally a complete of a new runway and it is not laying piece of asphalt on ground or to a existing runway. It will involve excavating the site and building from the sub base of the runway. This will involve a lot of engineering, surveying and analyzing of the ground and the bedrock, there should be NO short cuts. Any contractor who is selected for this project should have the experience, credential and proof on a construction of airport runway on an international level. The new part of the extended runway should be strong so it can support large heavy jets or any other aircraft that will operate in the future to Egal International airport. The Somaliland Civil Aviation and Air Transport should follow and adhere the standards and the recommended practice of International Civil Aviation, ICAO Annex 14 volume 1 and ICAO Document 9157-AN/901 –Part 1andPart-2

Aerodrome (Airport) Electrical system

Building an Airport electrical system is not like constructing a home or street lighting. It involves a proper design, installation and maintenance of aerodrome Navigations, visual and non visual aids. The visual aids are Runway, Taxiway and approach lights. The non visual aids are Instrument Landing system and navigation equipment which aircrafts utilize in order to make a safe landing when the visibility and the height of the cloud drops below the standard set by the international civil aviation organization. All these equipments including the communications radios are all basic fundamentals of safety.

It is important that the aerodrome electrical system, navigational, radio, visual and non visual aids equipments have a higher integrity and reliability. Probability of breakdown of well designed and maintained system at the critical time is extremely low .Therefore the electrical system for aerodrome requires a good quality installation and consideration for features which are not usually involved or found in any other installation of electrical system. It’s a standard for aerodrome to have two independent electrical systems, Primary power source and secondary power source. The Somaliland Ministry of Civil Aviation and Air transport should conduct survey and analysis on the power sources for availability, capacity, reliability and for the future expansions. This analysis should include both primary and secondary power sources and must meet the requirements of the international civil aviation standards. The primary power source for the Aerodrome can be independent commercial entity or government main power source as long as it has the capacity and reliability of the services. The secondary power source can be engine driven electrical generator which electricity can be obtained and can automatically connect to the Aerodrome electrical system when the main or primary power source is lost or shed from the Aerodrome electrical grid.

The Somaliland Ministry of Civil Aviation and Air Transport should acquire brand new electrical generators with a well known western Brand Name and not Chinese made generator or second hand generator which will not last long time and which is not reliable and not beneficial for Somaliland people. All the electrical equipment for the Aerodrome and the other facilities should be located in electrical vault or a special housing from the element of the weather and for better security.

When it comes to the awarding the contract of Aerodrome electrical system the Somaliland Agency of national contractor and the Somaliland Ministry of Civil Aviation and Air Transport should tread carefully and not award the contract to a home or street electricians. They should select a well experienced contractor and with a proven credential on Aerodrome electrical system and all the necessary equipment that associate building of a new system, including runway and taxiway lights, Visual aid and apron lights. The contractor must utilize approved parts for aerodrome. It is very important that the contractor and the Somaliland Ministry of civil Aviation and Air Transport should follow and adhere the Standard and recommended practice of ICAO Annex 14 volume1, ICAO Annex 10 volume 1 and ICAO Document 9157-AN/901-Part4 -Part5 and Part6

Airport Apron

As per ICAO definition Apron is a defined area, on a land aerodrome, intended to accommodate aircraft for purposes of loading or unloading passengers, mail or cargo, fuelling, parking or maintenance.

Egal international airport apron is small and can become congested when there are several aircraft arrivals in a same time. For the safety and security of the passengers the Airport terminals and the Airport property the apron area should be expanded so the aircrafts can park away from the terminal and maneuver easily around the apron without damage to terminal property or the aircraft itself. The apron should accommodate several aircrafts at same time and any aircraft can remain overnight at apron. The pavement strength should be put into the consideration of (PCN-ACN) Pavement Calcification Number – Aircraft Classification Number As per ICAO Annex 14 volume1. ICAO Document 9157-AN/901-Part3 and ICAO Document 9137- AN/898- Part2

A very well designed and strong pavement will have a life span of many years and can hold a heavy load without causing damage to the surface of the asphalt, aircraft or the equipment operating at the Airport.

The Somaliland Ministry of Aviation and Air Transport should establish procedures, guidelines and implementations of Airport security program for safeguarding Airport property and protection against unlawful interference of the Aviation facilities in line with the international standard and recommended practices of ICAO Annex 14 Volume1, ICAO Annex 17, ICAO Doc9137-AN/898 part8 and ICAO Doc 8973/2

Mohamed Ahmed Omar Cagadable

FAA Certified Airline Transport Pilot

FAA Certified Flight Instructor Airplane / Instrument / Multiengine

FAA Certified Basic and Advanced Flight and Ground school instructor