Afghan media reports said on August 9 that the Independent Civil Aviation Authority of Afghanistan has assumed full control of the airspace of Afghanistan after almost 26-year gap. 

Citing Shah Hussein Murtazawi, deputy spokesman for President Ghani, Khaama Press says Afghanistan has assumed the full control of its airspace for the first time since 1371 solar year (1992).

Presidential Palace said in a statement that a new radar system was inaugurated in the presence of President Ashraf Ghani at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, according to TOTLONews.

Ghani said the control of Afghanistan’s airspace will pave the way for turning Afghanistan into a regional economic hub.

“Afghanistan lacked air corridors which should pass through Afghanistan’s airspace. Now this opportunity has been paved. Our important goal is to change Afghanistan into a hub in the region. We will achieve this goal soon,” he said.

The president said with the new system in place air services charges will drop.

Head of the Independent Civil Aviation Authority Mahmoud Shah Habibi said Afghanistan will have control of all flights using its airspace with the radar system.

Mahmuod Shah Habibi has noted that the new system is installed in 36 areas across the country and is able to control Afghanistan’s airspace, according to Ariana News.

The official reportedly estimated the cost of the radar system at about $30 million with an annual $10 million budget for its maintenance.

This comes as the U.S. and NATO forces had the control of Afghanistan’s airspace since 2001.