The provincial council of Thi-Qar signed an initial agreement with the U.S. side to build a civilian airport in the city, according to the council chief.
"Part of the airfield in Imam Ali base, used by the Multi-National Force (MNF) troops as their headquarters, will be cut to build the airport," Ihsan al-Tai'e told Aswat al-Iraq – Voices of Iraq – (VOI).
"The U.S. side was represented by the economic and transport counselor in the U.S. embassy while the Thi-Qar provincial council was represented by its chief and the head of the investment authority," Tai'e said.
The former Imam Ali airbase, currently occupied by the MNF, was established in the early 1980s to provide logistics for warplanes during the 1980-1988 Iraq-Iran war. The base was offering fuel, repair services and supply for the military aircraft.
Thi-Qar, 380 km south of Baghad, has an area of 12,900 square kilometers (4,980.7 sq mi). In 2003 the estimated population of the governorate was 1,454,200 people. Thi-Qar's capital is the city of al-Nassiriya.It also includes the ancient Sumerian ruins of Ur, Eridu, Lagash and Ngirsu. Before 1976 the province was known as al-Muntafiq.
(Voices of Iraq)