DUSHANBE, January 25, 2011, Asia-Plus -- A draft air-traffic management agreement between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan is still being considered by the sides, Minister of Transport and Communications Olimjon Boboyev remarked at a news conference in Dushanbe on January 25.

According to him, the agreement is expected to be signed during the fist quarter of this year.  Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are currently working under a temporary agreement, the minister added.

We will recall that an official with the state unitary enterprise, Tajikaeronavigtsiya (air navigation service), told Asia-Plus in December that the new document provides for determining the procedure of management of air traffic and determines areas, where air traffic management is delivered to other side.

Tajikistan and Uzbekistan signed the temporary agreement on air traffic control and collection of air navigation fees on June 26, 2010 at Uzbekistan''s insistence.  Besides, under the June 26 temporary agreement, each country''s air-traffic controllers take complete responsibility for guiding its planes to land.  In addition, Uzbekistan has asked that Tajik planes no longer begin their descent to land in Sughd from Uzbek airspace.

In accordance with the terminated 1993 agreement, Uzbek air-traffic controllers guided planes overflying Uzbek territory to land in Tajikistan''s northern Sughd province, while Tajik air-traffic controllers provided similar guidance to Uzbek planes landing in Uzbekistan''s southern Surkhandarya province.  Under the terminated 1993 agreement, Tajik and Uzbek air carriers were exempted from paying the air navigation fees for use of air spaces of the two countries.