The air connection between eastern Libya and Greece, specifically Benghazi in the east of the country with Hania on the island of Crete, is reportedly on the brink of fruition, as the last very important steps that were pending have been completed.
Chief among those pending steps was the certification of the ability of Benghazi’s airport to host flights from a European Union country. The initiative, which carries significant geopolitical clout, was spearheaded by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Economic Diplomacy and Openness Kostas Fragogiannis and his staff over the past few months.
The business risk has been undertaken by the company Sky Express, which will operate flights from Hania to Benina International Airport in Benghazi with ATR 42-500, ATR 72-500 and ATR 72-600 propeller aircraft.
The company conducted an on-site inspection of Benina’s airport facilities, security procedures and air traffic facilities in May.
After that the company’s executives submitted a risk assessment report to the Civil Aviation Authority (APA). In general, it is considered that the safety standards are on par with those of the European Union.
However, it has been suggested that every flight should have staff from Greece with an observer role who should liaison with local authorities.
This entails that the Greek Consulate in Benghazi, which has been upgraded, will be more actively involved.
The second element observed by the company’s envoys is that the airport’s radio systems are not up to standard, making night flights or flights in adverse weather conditions prohibitive.
Following this, the company applied for licensing for daily flights with visual flight rules, which is expected to be granted.