The Afghan government renewed its contract with the American company RMS (Readiness Management Support/IAP Worldwide Services Inc) to manage its airspace but nearly ran out of time. The contract officially ended two months ago but was extended to allow the Afghan government to make a decision. After the two-month extension expired, a final six-day extension was needed to finish the deal.
This last-minute need for extensions has left critics wondering if the Afghan government is taking its airspace seriously, and whether or not other management bids were seriously considered
Mahmoud Shah Habibi, head of the Afghanistan Aviation Support Association, said that the government should work on the air management agreement seriously.
“The airspace of Afghanistan is very important for the region--more than hundreds of flights use our territory. If problems occur many flights will be in trouble,” said Habibi.
In answer to critics, Mohammad Qasim Wafai Zada, chief of the Civil Aviation Authority, said that the accord was signed with RMS company for 5 million dollars less than asked.
“A discussion between the civil aviation authority, RMS and the national procurement agency ended very well, and we finalized the contract with the RMS company, which is worth 38 million dollars,” Said Wafai Zada.
The responsibility for Afghanistan’s air space management was transferred to the Afghan government from US forces in 2015 and at that time the aviation organization contracted the RMS company.