United Nations calls on Saudi-backed authorities to allow transport of urgent equipment to Sana'a Airport

United Nations calls on Saudi-backed authorities to allow transport of urgent equipment to Sana'a Airport

The United Nations has called on exiled Hadi government to allow the import of new communications equipment to Sana’a Airport in order to ensure the safety of humanitarian flights.

The United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator, William Gressly, said in a statement on Saturday, that “the communications equipment at Sana’a Airport is experiencing technical problems.”

“Over the past 18 months, UN humanitarian flight crews have reported at least 10 cases in which they were unable to contact the air control tower at Sana’a Airport or communications were unclear, and this situation is potentially dangerous.”

“The Public Authority for Civil Aviation and Meteorology in Sana’a worked to purchase monitoring devices in 2019 and the United Nations agreed to transfer them,” the statement said.

However, the evacuation and humanitarian operations cell of the Saudi-led coalition did not authorise the transfer of equipment, citing the need for the approval of the Hadi exiled government.

The airport, whose airspace and movement of take-offs and landings are monitored by the Saudi-led coalition, and has received only aid and United Nations aircraft since 2016, and is considered a major corridor of aid to Yemen.

The airport temporarily stopped receiving planes late last month due to massive damage it sustained as a result of Saudi airstrikes. It reopened for humanitarian and UN flights soon afterwards, after urgent repairs were made.

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