By: Mohamed Ahmed Omar Aagadable
Somalilandsun – The Somaliland government has secured an additional fund from the government of Kuwait in order to finish the work that was going on at Hargeisa airport, although the airport management & the government know very well where the fund is needed.
I would like to give a few pointers, because.
Every citizen of Somaliland has a God given rights/ duty to contribute to the development of the homeland & to provide his expertise or advice to the government without expectation of anything in return directly or indirectly
What is international airport?
An international airport is an airport that can accommodate international flights. They are normally equipped with customs, immigration facilities and Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting. These airports are usually larger and often have longer runways and facilities to accommodate the large aircraft commonly used for international or intercontinental travel. International airports also serve as hub or places where non-direct or transit flights may land and passengers switch planes. International airports often have many airlines represented, and many of these are often foreign
Hargeisa airport needs to have a secure and a very large area of land for the future expansion of the airport. The government should establish an airport Zone with no civilian buildings inside that zone. Otherwise we will run out of land for the near future & that will force us to build a new airport in a new location. We cannot think only for today & forget the future of our children there will be a very near future that we will have our own Airlines flying with the Somaliland flag, and it will require to have administration buildings, large maintenance hangars for their airplanes, and separate maintenance hangar for the equipments. We need to stop making Hargeisa airport a dumping ground for old Russian made airplanes, the government should dismantle & sell as scrub metal old airplane the is not flyable anymore & use the proceeds to the airport development.
We have to put into consideration expanding the apron (aircraft parking) so it will accommodate more & large passengers & cargo airplanes, we need to make space available for a cargo terminal & a Cargo ramp or apron.
Apron is an area of the Airport where aircraft are parked, for loading & unloading Passengers or Cargo
Ideal Runway with parallel Taxiway
The current Hargeisa runway length is 2.4 Kilometer & the average length of a Runway in our neighboring country is 3.1 to 3.2 Kilometer, we need to extend the Hargeisa runway to a length of 3.2 KM & that will be very adequate for large Jet commercial flights, not only extending that part of the runway but to make it very strong in order to compliment the rest of the runway.
Runway is a rectangular area for the landing and takeoff of aircraft and it is constructed of Asphalt or concrete
Taxiway is a path on an airport that the aircraft has to utilized in order to leave the runway to apron or from the apron to the runway
In order to extend the lifespan of the asphalt & the runway of Hargeisa airport , we should construct a runway Safety shoulder(both sides of the runway) a way to drain the rain water so water will not accumulate in poll on the runway & under dry conditions the safety shoulder can support aircraft rescue and firefighting equipment, and the occasional passage of aircraft without causing structural damage to the aircraft, It is normal standard for an airport to have a parallel Taxiway & couple of entrances/Exits to the apron. We should put it into the future plan, a parallel taxiway for Hargeisa airport & this will elevate & reduce the wear & tear of the runway due to aircraft usage for back taxing before takeoff .The runway & the taxiway must have obstacle free zone, It is standard practice for the airport operations to conduct daily inspection of four times a day at dawn, morning, afternoon and dusk on the runway, taxiway & the apron also any time it rains, aircraft incident or accident occurs, and the daily inspection should consist, inspection of the runway & taxiway lights functionality , the runway, taxiway or the apron for damage or foreign object debris that can damage an aircraft. And any kind of loose material which can damage an aircraft whether it gets into an engine or into props so we want to make sure we clear any material off the pavements as soon as possible
The daily inspection should include the perimeter security fence of the airport for damage & venerability of intrusions.
The Runway lights
For an airport to have Night flight operations, takeoff & landing it must have an airport rotating Beacon & also have runway, taxiway & apron lighting. As climate in the world has changed however during the,
Winter month the Hargeisa weather changes rapidly in the evening & there is always a development of FOG. This fog usually occurs in the winter, aided by clear skies and calm conditions. The cooling of land overnight by thermal radiation cools the air close to the surface. This reduces the ability of the air to hold moisture, allowing condensation and fog to occur. And it is impossible to forecast it reduces the visibility, normal landing of the aircraft at night will not be possible, the government should add to the future plan an Instrument Landing System (ILS) & with all the associated approach lights & precision approach path indicator. (PAPI) is a visual aid that provides guidance information to help a pilot acquire and maintain the correct approach (in the vertical plane) to the runway Attention needs to be given to the areas over which airplanes will be required to fly when following instrument approach and missed approach procedures, so as to ensure that obstacles in these areas or other factors will not restrict the operation. Both sides of the landing directions (runway) should be clear of obstacles
We have to invest solar power & acquire best electrical generators & we do not need to settle an inferior (Chinese electrical generator) all the airport lighting should be ICAO approved lights & must meet its safety standards
Navigation Equipment & Communication
The Somaliland government needs diplomatically to go after the ICAO & collect its share of the money that has been collecting within the last 21 years for the usage of Somaliland airspace, at same time we need to ask the ICAO to develop & modernize the navigation & communication equipment at Hargeisa airport.
In order to have complete control of Somaliland airspace, we must have a modem communications & we must acquire a away of identifying any overflying aircraft .
Hargeisa airport needs to have VHF Omni directional radio range.
(VOR) is a type of short-range radio navigation systems enabling for the aircraft to determine their position and stay on course & it is coupled with DME & GPS approach, also Hargeisa airport needs to have an Instrument Landing System. (ILS) is a ground-based instrument approach system that provides precision guidance, horizontal as well as the vertical guidance is necessary for an accurate landing on the runway, using a combination of radio signals and, in many cases, high-intensity lighting arrays to enable a safe landing during instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) such as low ceilings or reduced visibility due to fog, rain, or blowing dust or sand this will make Hargeisa airport operational 24 hours in any kind of weather.
The government should solicit the ICAO to get all these equipment & its share of the development in the region.
AIRPORT RESCUE & FIRE FIGHTING
One of the important thing in airport enviorment is an Airport Rescure & Fire Fighting,this is the first respond incase an emergeny at airport or in the vicinity of the airrport & When the alarm sounds and aircraft rescue fire fighters (ARFF) are called to duty, they must use the skills they have learned through experience and training to save lives and to protect property.
As per ICAO Annex 14 of Aerodrome Standards
The Airport authority must establish the following:
Critical rescue and fire fighting access area. Is a rectangular area, symmetrical about the runway, having a width of 300 meters and a length exceeding that of the runway by 2000 meters
A Rapid response area is a rectangular area that includes the runway and the surrounding area. Its width extends (150m) outward from each side of the runway centerline, and its length is 1 (500m) beyond each runway end.
It should be demonstrated that the rescue and fire fighting services are capable of achieving a response time not exceeding two minutes to any part of the movement area and critical rescue and fire fighting access area Emergency access roads must be provided on the airport so as to facilitate achieving minimum response times
Particular attention shall be given the critical rescue and fire fighting access area. Where a fence is provided, most appropriate access to outside areas should be provided.
Emergency access roads should be capable of supporting the heaviest vehicles which will use them, and be usable in all weather conditions.
Roads within 90 meters of a runway shall be surfaced to prevent surface erosion and the transfer of debris to the runway.
All rescue and fire fighting personnel shall meet the requirements Standard for Airport Fire Fighting Professional Qualifications
The rescue fire fighting and other authorized personnel shall be given suitable uniforms or identifying insignia to prevent any misunderstanding as to their right to be in the fire area or the aircraft movement area.
During emergency, approved protective clothing and equipment, including protective coat, protective trousers, helmet, gloves should be provided, maintained, and readily available for use by all rescue and fire fighting personnel.
All rescue and fire fighting personnel shall be properly trained to perform their duties in an efficient manner and shall participate in live fire drills.
The training curriculum should include initial and recurrent instruction in at least the
* Airport familiarization;
* Aircraft familiarization;
* Rescue and fire fighting personnel safety;
* Emergency communications systems on the airport, including aircraft related alarms
* Use of the fire hoses, nozzles, turrets and other appliances
* Application of the types of extinguishing agents required
* Emergency aircraft evacuation assistance
* Fire fighting operations
* Dangerous goods
* Familiarization with fire fighter’s duties under the aerodrome emergency plan
Safety & security
Both aircraft and ground vehicles (equipment) are operated by various companies that utilize the apron. This is often a hectic place, with people trying to handle planes as quickly as possible. Standardized procedures are vital so the flights and handling can take place as smoothly as possible. The airport authorities need to establish Procedures to ensure Airfield/Apron Safety & security
The following guidelines will be useful to be implemented:
* To develop, implement and maintain comprehensive and effective national programs
* Security standard for departure areas which includes pre-flight boarding (holding area) baggage and cargo security screening.
* To establish security measures at airport terminal buildings and aircraft parking areas .Airport Staff Identification and protection of documents
* Security standard on each type of security device used in the airport
* Aviation security training scope
* All authorized staff/personnel are issued with identification passes and with proper access control systems.
* Authorized law enforcement officers armed & with communication equipments must be made available to patrol within the Airport vicinity.
* Ensure that areas of restrictions are clearly marked. Install proper access control systems and proper fencing at the perimeters areas to avoid unauthorized entry
* Ensure at all identification passes are visibly worn by the person(s) entering the airside and identification is checked at the access control point before entering the airside.
* Challenge/report to authorities, persons not displaying valid airport identification or suspect vehicles in the vicinity of aircraft & only authorized people should have access to the apron
* Set procedures, regulations & training for the airport employee & airport operators,
The government must invest into the upcoming Somaliland generation & set up training facilities for the future Aviators in field of Air Traffic control, Airport management, Meteorologist, Airport Rescue & Fire Fighting
The following suggestions will create Home grown professional jobs with high quality & qualification
*) Establish in the ministry an Aviation training center
*) Develop an entry exam for all somalilander university graduates
*) Develop hiring process without preference of any kind tribal or gender
*) Develop Aviation education curriculum
In conclusion I would like inform & suggest the government not to Derail or Divide & spend this fund on other projects, other than Hargeisa airport. Otherwise we will be in the same predicament that is in Hargeisa airport. It is to the advantage of the government to hold Town Hall meetings & engage their citizens in the public decisions and to explain the progress of the airport development. This will ease or eliminate any misconception that the public have the project of Hargeisa airport
Mohamed Ahmed Omar Cagadable
FAA Certified Airline Transport Pilot
FAA Certified Flight Instructor Airplane / Instrument / Multiengine
FAA Certified Basic & Advanced Ground school instructor