He said 350 locals were already working at the airport base and the area was ripe for commercial activity.
"It won't take a lot to get us going. The important thing is it will have to be a phased transition from military control to civil control," he added.
He said the airport's immediate needs were for an air freight company to come on board, and management for a civil airport and customs and immigration to be set up.
Renovation work and an estimated £15m will also be vital for an airport where the tower has no radar - it was bombed on the second day of the war.
Interesting... I don't know about you, but I'm not too interested in going to Basra
[Edited 2004-03-16 22:38:53]