Hurriya military airbase on the outskirt of the city of Kirkuk will be revamped into a modern airport. File Photo.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Rakan Saed al-Jabouri, acting governor of Kirkuk, said on Monday his administration has obtained approval from the federal government to open Kirkuk’s military airport to domestic and international flights starting next week.
“The reopening of Kirkuk International Airport … will provide service for one and half million people from Kirkuk and three million people of other provinces like Diyala, Saladin and south of Mosul,” read the statement posted on Jabouri’s Facebook account.
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and his Minister of Transport Kadhim al-Hamami approved the move, Jabouri said.
The first international flights to resume will include destinations in Turkey, Lebanon, and Iran, he added.
Part of the military airport in Kirkuk had been set aside for civil aviation during Najmaldin Karim’s tenure as governor, but the project was never implemented.
Jabouri claims a decree has now been issued to convert the airfield into a purely civilian airport.
Rudaw has learned that no official decree has been issued proving the airport will now be dedicated to civil aviation. It cannot independently verify the decision.
The airport along with the K-1 military base fell to the Iraqi armed forces on October 16 after Kurdish forces pulled out in the face of a major military incursion into the city.