NATO / Afghanistan

ISAF opens Kabul International Airport North

KABUL, Afghanistan – A $77 million construction project came to a close during a grand opening ceremony for Kabul International Airport (KAIA) North on May 1. A symbolic key was given to International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Deputy Commander, Lieutenant General Jim Dutton, from the construction company that built KAIA North.

The construction of the 30-facility Airport Protection Overlay District (APOD) compound is the single largest wartime construction project in NATO’s history. The project allows handover of KAIA South for Afghan development and boasts the first major land transfer from NATO back to Afghanistan.
The $77 million initiative is part of a $130 million, three-year construction project to develop Afghanistan’s only viable international airport, which is critical for the land-locked country. Seven million dollars of the $77 million was for the aircraft parking expansion, doubling NATO’s strategic and tactical aircraft parking capacity at KAIA.
During his remarks, Lt. Gen. Dutton thanked U.S. Army Colonel Thomas Finn, project manager for KAIA North, for his efforts in the migration from KAIA South to KAIA North. He talked about the $17 million Role 2 hospital, which is NATO’s first hospital construction outside Europe, and also mentioned that more than 1,400 Afghans worked at the site with zero security incidents.
More than 229 NATO personnel will relocate from KAIA South to KAIA North into 11 buildings. KAIA North was built with higher force protection (FP) standards, allowing troops to be protected where they live and work. Thirteen million dollars went into force protection upgrades to defeat Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIED) threats at the gates.
Construction on KAIA North started in the fall of 2007 and was completed by February 2008. Thirty million dollars in construction funding came from 14 different nations. The final migration is expected to be completed later this year.