Somalia might conjure images of pirates and Blackhawk Down, but the northern autonomous region and former British protectorate of Somaliland remains a peaceful, although economically depressed, place. Last month the international airport at the capital, Hargeisa, “re-opened” following renovations and modernization, funded to the tune of $10 million by the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.
UAVs operating over Somalia have been involved in a number of crashes and incidents since last summer, including a near-collision with a Boeing 737 departing Mogadishu’s Aden Adde International Airport in January, according to the United Nations panel monitoring compliance with an arms embargo of that country. The pilot of the 737 altered course after receiving a warning from the aircraft’s traffic alert collision avoidance system.
Fokker F-27 Friendship 500, Mogadishu, Somalia, Aug. 13, 2008–The Fokker freighter was on a flight from a Kenyan airport en route to Somalia in “poor” weather. It apparently struck a telecommunications antenna on approach to the Mogadishu airport, K-50.