Bush and P.M. Jaafari press conference, June 24, 2005:

BUSH: [Y]ou know, I was pleased to see the other day when I was reading that there’s a lot of air traffic in and out of the airport now, quite a lot of air traffic. In other words, there’s commerce beginning to develop… (Thanks to Brinnaine for recalling Bush’s comments.)

From BBC News via Norma:

The British company that provides security to the airport, Global, has withdrawn its services in what it says is a contractual dispute. Military flights, however, are not affected.

Travelling out of Baghdad airport is hazardous enough … now it is not possible … at least on civilian flights.

It is understood that Global has not been paid by the Iraqi government for three months.

It is not clear whether there is any connection but the Iraqi transport ministry is frequently accused of corruption. A former transport minister is wanted for questioning over the issue.

The Iraqi government is also notoriously unreliable about paying its own employees.

When the airport is open, several airlines provide commercial flights inside Iraq and to several neighbouring countries. Because of the threat of missiles, planes execute a corkscrew manoeuvre on landing and take-off.

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