Libyan authorities close nearly all airports as protests continue

BRUSSELS: Libyan authorities have now closed nearly all airports nationwide with the exception of Tripoli International Airport and two other airports, according to Eurocontrol, the agency charged with coordinating air traffic management across Europe.

Libya has been plunged into chaos as massive anti-government protests continue nationwide, resulting in a violent crackdown by security forces which included aerial bombardments on protesters. At least 300 people and as many as more than 1,000 people have been killed in the uprising, but confirmed information has been difficult to obtain due to reporting restrictions by Libyan authorities.

"We have been informed by Malta ACC that all Libyan airports are closed except [Tripoli International Airport]," Eurocontrol said in a notice to aviation experts. It later added that Gardabya Airport in the country's southwest and Sabha Airport in the north are also operating.

"Operators are advised that the all airports [are] facing parking problems at the moment. Due to this, flights might expect significant delays before landing," Eurocontrol added.

It is not known when the other airports in Libya, more than 20, will reopen. Airports such as Benina International Airport are said to have been heavily damaged by the protests.


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