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Pristina airport moves closer to full operation


KOSOVO'S PRISTINA airport is one step closer to full operation following the installation of a crucial glide path antenna. Civil flights have been banned since the crash of a UN flight as it approached Pristina in November (NCE last month).

'Winterisation' work intended to improve safety began at the war-damaged airport last autumn.

Scott Wilson is managing the procurement and equipment installation, having headed the initial technical appraisal.

The appraisal had pointed to deficiencies in navaids, ground lighting and the condition of pavements, and the need for an extensive winterisation programme. Winter fog combined with the emissions from local coal fired power stations can reduce visibility at Pristina substantially.

The project ran into trouble following the moratorium on civil flights. Scott Wilson project engineer Neil Robinson explained that Russian freighters, which had been chartered to deliver the materials and equipment, were no longer able to land.

'The RAF was persuaded to deliver the bulk of the freight,' said Robinson. 'The rest went in to Scopje and was then transferred to trucks for the trip into Kosovo, under armed escort.'

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