Tripoli’s Mitiga airport resumes flights after a three month closure
By Sami Zaptia.
London, 12 December 2019:
Tripoli’s Mitiga airport reopened today with an Afriqiya flight to Istanbul. Other flights are expected to resume gradually with full operations expected by Sunday.
It will be recalled that the airport was supposed to reopen in October, but upgrade and renovation work overran.
The Tripoli government had announced in October that the airport would reopen as a civilian airport – without any military activity.
The announcement will come as good news for many Libyans living in the western region – as well as the international community. Mitiga has been closed to all flights since the beginning of September – with all its flights diverted to the smaller Misrata airport, a two-and-a-half hour drive east of Tripoli.
It was closed due to repeated airstrikes – attributed to the pro-Khalifa Hafter forces – and it continued to be the subject of strikes after it had been closed to civilian flights.
The pro Hafter forces have insisted that the forces defending Tripoli have been using the sprawling airport complex, which has always historically had a dual military-civilian use – as a base for military drone flights.
The Tripoli side have denied using the airport for military purposes during their battle with Hafter.