On June 3, 2009, the United States, in partnership with the Afghan Ministry of Transportation and Civil Aviation (MoTCA), opened Lashkar Gah’s Bost Airstrip in Hilmand Province. Now a 2,000-meter paved runway, Bost is the only completely civilian airstrip in southern Afghanistan. The airstrip will enable the reestablishment of commercial air service to Hilmand, opening the province to economic development and facilitating the export of agricultural products.
At the opening ceremony, Hilmand Governor Alhaj Gulab Mangal thanked the United States, noting that “The Bost Airstrip is a demonstration of America’s commitment to the Afghan people.” U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry expressed his support, responding that, “The United States is proud to support large-scale civilian development projects for the people of Hilmand.”
Adjacent to the Bost airstrip, the United States is building the 33-hectare Hilmand Agriculture Center, an agriculture-specific industrial park. Once completed, the center is expected to create 2,500 direct jobs for local residents.