Albania Reopens Kuçova Airbase for NATO Operations

Albania has relaunched the Kuçova airbase following the site’s modernization to support future NATO air missions.

Located in Berat, the hub was established in the 1950s to serve as a major airstrip for the Albanian Air Force.

The installation was damaged during a civil conflict in the late 1990s and was then renovated according to NATO standards in the early 2000s.

In 2019, work for the Kuçova upgrade began. It incorporated improvements to runways, the control tower, storage facilities, and hangar.

The revamped area will now enable Tirana to support NATO’s broader aerial deployments, logistics, military training, and exercises, the alliance wrote.

Funding for the center’s reopening amounted to approximately 50 million euros ($53.7 million) and was drawn from the organization’s security investment framework for primary defense construction initiatives in member states.

Kuçova airbase
Kuçova airbase. Photo: NATO

“The airbase will serve as an important NATO air hub,” NATO Acting Spokesperson Dylan White said.

“The makeover of Kuçova airbase is a strategic investment and shows that NATO continues to strengthen its presence in the Western Balkans, an area of strategic importance to the Alliance.”

Latest NATO Infrastructure Projects

Luxembourg started the development of two buildings for NATO in Capellen last month.

The center will house up to 780 personnel and will be used for administrative tasks under the organization’s support and procurement arm.

The same month, NATO inaugurated the construction of its “largest” European base in Romania.

The airport will cover about 3,000 hectares (7,413 acres) and accommodate up to 10,000 people. In addition, the area will include a hospital and learning centers for family members of NATO troops. 

The installation is scheduled to open in 2030.

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