Somali Civil Aviation and Meteorology Authority (SCAMA), mandated to provide regulations of Civil Aviation activities and to develop an infrastructure for safe, efficient, adequate, economical and properly coordinated Civil Air Transport Service in Somalia, on Monday announced it would be closing its offices based in Nairobi and relocate back to Somalia, effectively ushering a new chapter of Somalia’s airspace being controlled within Somalia.
United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has been running and controlling Somali airspace from its regional office in Nairobi since the collapse of Somali’s government in 1991.
The Headquarters of SCAMA which falls under the Ministry of Air Transport & Civil Aviation is located at Mogadishu Aden Abdulle International Airport.
Immediately, SCAMA tweeted the announcement, somalians on twitter and other tweeps couldn’t hide their joy.
The milestone has been a long way coming but gained momentum towards the end of 2017 after the election of Somali President Mohamed Abdulahi Farmajo.
In December 2017, President Farmajo officially inaugurated the offices and equipment installed at Mogadishu International Airport and said that the move represents a significant step towards the development of the country.
“It is a great honor for us to witness this historic day that we retake control and management of our airspace. This did not come simply and luckily, but through hard work,” Farmajo said.
Somali government also recently re-established direct flights between Mogadishu and Nairobi, which previously required a stopover in Wajir in North East Kenya for security reasons.
Somalia airspace generates an average of $7 million annually and the handover is expected to boost government resources substantially.
Prior to the collapse of the Somali Central Government in 1991, the government was effectively and efficiently managed and controlled its airspace and was able to collect overfly charges and revenues from airspace users. However, when the government collapsed, there was no entity to take its place and provide air navigation services.