Report: Development of Qlaiaat Airport Provides Thousands of Job Opportunities

The transformation of the Qlaiaat airport in the North into a large-scale facility would provide 6,000 new job opportunities on the first year of its operation, An Nahar daily reported on Wednesday.

The number of jobs available would increase to 21,000 in 2018, according to studies that have also set the cost of putting the Rene Moawad airport back into operation at 90 million dollars.

The first stage of any such future project would include the rehabilitation of the runway, the buildings and fuel warehouses at a cost of 45 million dollars, An Nahar said.

The facility that lies only seven kilometers from the northern border with Syria lies on a land of 5.5 million square meters and is connected to major local and international highways.

According to experts, its location is more important than that of Beirut airport for lying in an area that is not easily affected by storms and climate change.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Najib Miqati tasked Public Works Minister Ghazi Aridi to prepare a feasibility study on the possibility of operating the airport after a suggestion by Finance Minister Mohammed Safadi to allow Middle East Airlines to use it.

MEA used to operate three internal flights per week between the North and Beirut in 1988-1989.

Qlaiaat airport saw some activity during the Lebanese Army’s battles with Fatah al-Islam militants in the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared in 2007.

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