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Pristina airport reopens for civilian traffic

Kosovo's Pristina Slatina airport reopened yesterday for civilian aircraft, nearly two months after it was closed following the crash of a UN chartered plane on 12 November killing all on board.
The first plane to land yesterday was an Albanian Airline plane which returned to Tirana with some 20 passengers.

The airport, operated by the international peacekeeping force in Kosovo (KFOR), was closed on 20 November as a precautionary measure. The French team investigating the crash recommended that a review of the procedures and terminology in use at the military airfield and how they differed from the civilian equivalent. A team from the International Civil Aviation Organization carried out a full survey of the airfield.

"The airfield is open initially as a strictly daytime visual flight rules operations," KFOR spokesman Lieutenant-Commander Philip Anido said in a press briefing in Pristina today. He added that all users will operate within the rules laid down by KFOR military authorities.

Lieutenant-Commander Anido said the re-opening of the airport will allow the flow of humanitarian aid to resume directly into the territory thereby relieving the pressure on the main road from Skopje and the Kosovo-Macedonia border crossing point at Blace.