Air transport in Tajikistan, which is a land-locked country with 93% of the area being mountainous, plays an important role to support socio-economic activities. Air transport has great importance in international and long-distance transport, having comparative advantage over road and rail transport. With recent economic growth, air traffic demand in Tajikistan has been increasing rapidly. The number of air passengers at Dushanbe International Airport has grown by 1.4 times between 2009 and 2013, reaching to 1.3 million passengers in 2013. Air cargo traffic as well increased rapidly by 1.7 times during the same period, reaching to 2,370 tons at Dushanbe International Airport in 2013. These growth trends are expected to continue toward the future.
With recognition that coping with increasing air traffic demand is an urgent need, Tajikistan has been upgrading aviation infrastructure at its major airports with assistance of EBRD, World Bank, the Government of France and the Government of Japan. However, in order to adequately handle further growth of air traffic, human resource development is equally important.
Air Traffic Control (ATC) services in Tajikistan needs modernization and capacity development. With a safety oversight on the civil aviation system in Tajikistan in 2008, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) focused on old Soviet era based rules, guidelines and operational manuals, which do not fully comply with international air navigation requirements. ICAO also found that the implementation of training program for ATC instructors/officers is necessary.
In response to ICAO's recommendations, the Ministry of Transport started establishing civil aviation regulations complied with international standards since 2008, and these changes required retraining of air traffic control officers to new ATC standard operation procedures.
State Unitary Enterprise "Tajikiairnavigation" (TAN) of the Ministry of Transport, which provides air navigation services for whole Tajikistan, has been making effort to comply with ICAO's recommendations by implementing in-country/overseas training as well as reconstruction of Training Centre. However, TAN found that it will require international assistance to develop ICAO compliant operation procedures, and to establish training program for ATC instructors/trainers and officers. Therefore, TAN requested the implementation of this Technical Cooperation project to the Government of Japan.
In January 2015, the ICAO Coordinated Validation Mission (ICVM) conducted evaluation of the status of implementation of the corrective action plan in response to ICAO's audit. As a result of the mission, ICVM required GOT to improve ATC services such as establishment and implementation of training program, Contingency Plan and Safety Management System (SMS) and to improve Aeronautical Information Services (AIS). With regard to these recommendations, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and TAN reviewed a detailed plan of the Project in the Detailed Planning Survey.