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.