New northern international airport to boost Afghan economy

Source: NATO News Release

KABUL, Afghanistan (Dec. 9, 2010) – A new international airport in Mazar-e Sharif is scheduled to be complete in January 2012 and will assist with trade and transporting goods throughout Afghanistan.

More than 300,000 people live in the vicinity of Mazar-e Sharif and people will reap the benefits of being able to transport their goods throughout the country.

“It is an economic center for Afghanistan,” said Thomas Herzberg, Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau Entwicklungsbank representative and project coordinator. “This airport is a great way of increasing economic trade for the Afghan people. From north to east Afghanistan, it is the center point for more than four million people.”

Currently, the airport is host to more than 100,000 passengers per year and is projected to host more than 400,000 after the construction is complete.

Construction of the airport is employing hundreds of local Afghans to lay foundation, construct more than five buildings and maintain the airport. A new terminal, repairs to the old terminal, a security building and a fire response building are some of the projected projects.

The airport is designed not only for passengers, but also to work in conjunction with the new rail system located a couple of miles away, that was recently built to support economic growth. The new railway is bringing in construction supplies to the airport.

“The airport, together with the rail way station, will bring a real economic boost to Mazar-e-Sharif,” Herzberg said. “All around the airport people can see that trade centers are building up. This just goes to show what kind of positive impact this has on northern Afghanistan.”

The decision to build the airport was made in 2008 and is part of a development project to bring five international airports to Afghanistan.

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