Hodeida airport land hijacked
Officials warn that if further action isn’t taken, the airport could be forced to close.
Airport Manager Saleh Ahmed said the hostility impacts safety, so the airport could close for security reasons.
Ali Al-Twaiti, the deputy manager of the airport, said high-ranking officials such as air force commanders in Sana'a and in Hodeida have been informed. He said he urged them to resolve the problems immediately.
Al-Twaiti said the total area of airport-owned land is estimated at 1,200 square meters; however, because different entitites have seized control of much of the area, the airport currently controls 400 square meters, or one-third.
“According to international standards, the minimum space needed for an airport is between 1,200 and 1,500," Al-Twaiti said.
He said a meeting with several officials held Saturday in Hodeida was intended to negotiate with those controlling the airport’s land, to hear their demands and to peacefully resolve the situation.
Ahmed Al-Makbooli, deputy manager of the General Authority for Land Survey and the Urban Planning branch, said those assigned to protect the land should be held accountable.
"It is absolutely disgraceful that thieves are the ones assigned to protect the resources,” Al-Makbooli said.
Al- Makbooli said that sources said the group controlling the airport’s land plans to split it among themselves into 250 meter plots.
"It is a big problem, and they have no justification for being absent from the meeting,” he said.
Al- Makbooli said that they’re trying regain control of hijacked land.
"The bulldozers are being escorted by armed guards. Work is currently progressing.”
He said the government is doing its best to settle the issue.