By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 20 July 2014:
While fighting continues at Tripoli International Airport, the airport at Zuwara . . .[restrict]is reportedly preparing to take domestic and international flights.
Airport manager Fathi Al-Hamasa has told Libya news agency LANA that the airport would be ready to accommodate international flights within days, provided that he was had the necessary support from the Civil Aviation Authority and the Ministry of Transport.
He stressed that the airport was technically able to take international flights, but that some equipment was in need of maintenance.
In addition to approval from the Ministry of Transport, extra staff from the Civil Aviation Authority would be needed to relocated there.
However, there have to be doubts about Zuwara’s use as an alternative for Tripoli International. For a start its runway is 1,800 metres compared with Tripoli’s 3,600 metres. The airport (international code HLZW) has limited apron and parking space and no refuelling facilities. European carriers would almost certainly not fly to it because of categorisation and insurance issues.
In addition, though Zuwara is currently considered secure, there have to be questions about the 102 km eastward road trip to Tripoli. The Libya Herald was unable to contact the Libyan Civil Aviation Authority this evening to comment of Zuwara’s potential new role.