We Came to Help

This was the Basra Team - with its Iraqi airport management counterparts. We came from diverse backgrounds, from airports and aviation-related businesses across America and beyond. Each came for his/her own reasons, but all were united by a common...

Due to woefully inadequate salaries, most of Basra Airport’s staff was forced to work second jobs in the years following the 1991 Gulf War.

What We Accomplished

Working closely with our Iraqi counterparts, the team set out to identify steps necessary to bring the facility back into operational condition. With the assistance of British forces and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ staff, we identified critical systems and prioritized repairs. Iraqi air traffic controllers and meteorologists were provided refresher training. We established security procedures and, in concert with British forces, created an access control badging office. While awaiting infrastructure improvements, we worked with Iraqi staff on fundamentals of airport management, including computer and English language skills and establishing a basic concession development program. We also worked with Iraqi airport management staff on ICAO compliance issues, best practices, and air service development.

By early 2004 the general security situation in Iraq had taken a decided turn for the worse. Attacks were increasing in both frequency and severity. By March, the Coalition Provisional Authority had decided to refocus the country’s commercial aviation development efforts on Baghdad alone. All of these challenges combined resulted in a corporate decision to withdraw from the project and leave Basra before we would have liked.

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