Helmand’s airfield officially opens

June 3: In Afghanistan, Helmand’s renovated airfield was officially opened today and named Bost Airfield after the nearby town, otherwise known as Lashkar Gah.

The Helmand Provincial Reconstruction Team, a partnership between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), has turned a gravel airstrip into a tarmac runway capable of taking modern civil aircraft connecting Helmand with the rest of Afghanistan and opening up the province for trade. Bost Airfield is the only entirely civilian airstrip in Southern Afghanistan and is intended to be the new gateway to Helmand province.

USAID has created the 2km airstrip and refurbished the terminal building, while DFID has agreed to undertake additional improvements costing up to £4.5 million. New access roads, security fencing and an administration block for a business centre will be built alongside the airfield.

At the ceremony British Ambassador to Afghanistan Mark Sedwill said: “The opening of the airfield is a symbol of hope and future progress for the people of Helmand.”

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