The US has poured more than $500 million into the Afghan civil aviation since 2002 but the sector is unable to operate independently, an American audit has found.
According to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), the US hasn’t trained enough air traffic controllers to transition the airspace safely into Afghanistan control.
The US is preparing to wind down its operations in the country and transfer control of the airspace to the Afghanistan government.
“However, despite a decade-long effort, the country doesn’t appear to be ready to take the controls and seems to prefer that the US keep picking up the tab,” the Fiscal Times quoted SIGAR as saying.
Afghanistan has at least 67 international and domestic airports–which generate about $30 million in annual revenue. But as of last year, there were only 36 number of air traffic controllers.