After 27 years, Bosnia and Herzegovina will finally take control over its airspace in the night between Wednesday and Thursday, as now it finally has the necessary expertise to do so, aviation expert and pilot Omer Kulic told N1 on Monday.
Bosnia and Herzegovina Air Navigation Services Agency (BHANSA) will finally take control over Bosnia’s complete airspace in the night between December 4 and 5.
“Until the war, Yugoslavia was divided into two regions, and after that war, Slovenia swiftly established this system, Macedonia did so within three years, and we have been working on it for the past 15 years,” Kulic said.
It took so long for the country to control its airspace because “incompetent people” were employed at particular posts, he said, stressing that “experts were not leading the process.”
“As soon as those with expertise became engaged, this was initiated,” he added.
But according to Kulic, that was not the only reason for the slow process. There were also obstructions.
“There were obstructions from Belgrade and Zagreb, because of money. Both Belgrade and Zagreb took loans, they needed money from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and they did not have to invest anything but only to control the airspace of Bosnia,” he said.
It is estimated that Bosnia lost up to €35 million by paying Serbia and Croatia for a job which the country could have done itself.
“If we had controlled it, the money would have stayed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia and Croatia did everything in order to extend this. Serbia influenced Serbs and Croatia influenced Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Kulic said.
According to the chief of operations at BHANSA, Adnan Gafic, the institution currently controls about 200 flights daily and this number will drastically increase from December 5 onward.
“The situation currently is that we control the airspace above 10,000 metres. After November 5, there will be an increase in the number of aeroplanes we control. During the winter period that increase will probably mean some 70-80 aeroplanes per hour, or some 700-800 a day. In the summer, it is expected that it will be some up to 120 aeroplanes per hour, or 1,600 per day,” he said.
“This is a big challenge, but we are ready as our people passed all of their training,” he added.