Civilian authorities take over Prishtina's Airport

Prishtina, 5 April 2004 – UNMIK has been handed over the Airport of Prishtina by KFOR. Civilian staff from Iceland authorized by UNMIK will now manage the airport, Kosovar Media report.

‘Today we celebrate the handover of authority from KFOR to UNMIK. After five years of military control over Kosovo’s central air hub, the civilian authority takes over. This step conveys the positive message that, in spite of the terrible setback caused by the violence two weeks ago, we are moving forward,’ Kosovo chief administrator Harri Holkeri was quoted as saying at the ceremony. General Kammerhoff stated that a part of the international strategy was to handover publicly owned enterprises to local institutions and that the first step in doing so was handing over the airport to UNMIK authorities. President Rugova said that the handover represented a positive step in building a democratic, peaceful, tolerant Kosovo, independent for all its citizens.

Iceland’s Minister of Transport, Tourism and Telecommunication, Sturla Bodvarsson, promised maximum effort to meet the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

The ceremony was attended by high local and international officials. At a reception after the ceremony certificates were given to a group of employees at the air traffic control.