In December 2020, preparations were made for the construction of a new international airport, replacement highway and other key infrastructure in post conflict Füzuli, Western Azerbaijan.
Following decades of instability and conflict, the region is heavily contaminated with explosive remnants of war requiring the services of a (UN approved) humanitarian demining company to clear and prove the area prior to any civil engineering operations.
A detailed survey and assessment of the scale and nature of the contamination was undertaken to provide guidance in the selection of the most appropriate equipment to meet this complex challenge. The Aardvark Group has a 40-year history of delivering similar projects with similar conditions, including the safe demining of the Sarajevo airport area following the Bosnian Conflict and after careful consideration the Aardvark AMCS was chosen for its award-winning wide area mine clearing capabilities and unmatched levels of survivability and operator protection.
Despite numerous logistical challenges, exacerbated by the COVID pandemic, the Aardvark team worked around the clock to meet the client’s 14-day delivery deadline in Füzuli. This outstanding feat could not have been achieved without the expert support and commitment from the UK Defence and Security Exports team and the Export Control Joint Unit at the Department for International Trade, the UK’s overseas representatives in both Germany and Baku and last but not least, the Azerbaijani Government – who embraced British support for the humanitarian efforts in their country.
The importance of the project was reflected by Mr. James Sharp, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Republic of Azerbaijan:
“The increasing number of deaths and injuries in Azerbaijan and the NK region as a result of mines and explosives is a tragedy. I know Azerbaijan welcomes the support of Aardvark Group in carrying out the essential, life-saving task of clearing minefields.”
To support this critical project Aardvark has deployed a Senior Technician Instructor with the equipment ensuring the local mine clearance personnel are fully trained and certified in the operation and maintenance of the AMCS.
Mr. David St John-Claire, the CEO of the Aardvark Group commented:
“The demining project will ensure that the safe construction of the new Füzuli International Airport and the transformation of the area can begin in earnest. The Government plan is to see domestic and international flights within the next two years -providing a much needed stimulus for the region, the economy and most importantly, the community.”