- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 6, 2003

   A District company yesterday won a $2.5 million contract to assess and manage three commercial airports in Iraq, the U.S. Agency for International Development announced.
   SkyLink Air and Logistic Support USA will help reopen the airports.
   The transportation hubs are critical links for humanitarian and reconstruction assistance in Iraq, USAID said in a statement announcing the award.
   “SkyLink will assess and manage the airports to ensure that people, technical assistance, supplies, food and materials for reconstruction enter the country smoothly,” USAID said.
   Airports in Baghdad, Basra and Mosul are covered under the terms of the contract.
   The $2.5 million could increase depending on the amount of work that needs to be completed.
   SkyLink company officials were not immediately available for comment. USAID officials could not immediately comment on the company’s ownership or history with USAID.
   According to the company’s Web site, SkyLink has operated for 12 years. The company has conducted aviation evacuations, flown relief supplies and provided logistical support for rebuilding and operating airports.
   “SkyLink has administered sensitive programs in many post-conflict countries for the United States government and the United Nations,” including support for government agencies and the armed services, the Web site said.
   Since Jan. 31, USAID has been seeking companies for nine reconstruction contracts. The contracts total $1.7 billion.
   The contracting process has been criticized because only a handful of companies were asked to bid, and because the process has been limited to American companies or U.S.-based subsidiaries of foreign businesses.
   USAID also has awarded contracts for seaport administration, capital construction, personnel support, education, public health, logistical support and local governance, which involves helping local governments provide basic services in Iraq’s cities and towns.
    Still to be awarded is a contract for community action, which deals with citizen participation in government.

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