AVIATION GUIDE - YEAR BOOK 2012 Erbil International Airport 69 Talar Faiq Salih Airport Director, Erbil International Airport Talar Faiq Salih took up her role as the Director at ErbiI International Airport in August 2010, having joined EIA as Deputy Director in late 2009. Under her leadership the new international airport opened in September 2010 and has seen a successful first year of operation with new airlines, cargo carriers and a 39% increase in passenger numbers to 555,714 in the 12 months since 1 September, 2010.
Her contribution was recognised in June 2011 when she was awarded, ‘Best Woman in Aviation’ at the Emerging Markets Airport Awards, in Dubai.
Salih, married with one daughter, has devoted her professional career to helping her fellow Kurds and to serving the Kurdistan Regional Government in a variety of roles either in Iraq and her native Kurdistan or in Europe and the UK.
Her career began in travel as an IATA accredited manager in Suleymania before she joined the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) where she played a key role in assisting the humanitarian effort to relieve the effects of sanctions. Salih was a key member of the local staff and stayed with the UN in a variety of key position for nearly ten years before moving to the UK to support the growing Kurdish community there.
In 2002, Salih was nominated and assumed the role of ‘Ambassador for Peace’ at the UN linked International Inter- Religious Federation for World Peace, (IIFWP) in London. From her base in the West Midlands of the UK and the growing Kurdish community there Salih made her move to London where she took up a role at the International Organisation for Migration, (IOM) in 2006.
In 2008, Salih joined the office of the Kurdistan Regional Government mission to the UK capital. Taking up a role as a senior member of the mission she worked with senior officials of the KRG to liaise with the UK Government and members of Parliament.
Salih is an accomplished administrator and manager who has played an important role in supporting the KRG as it, and the region, has emerged from the aftermath of dictatorship in 2003. It is these skills that are brought to bear to deliver her vision, and that of the KRG, to create for the Kurdish people and region, a modern, 21st century centre of excellence at Erbil International Airport.
In her leadership role as Airport Director, Salih is committed to a number of key priorities, notably operating a safe and secure airport that can act as a gateway to Kurdistan and wider Iraq; to develop the commercial potential of the new airport so that it can play its full role as a catalyst for further economic development in the region, and, importantly, to build for the country a pool of talented Kurdish nationals to maintain and operate the airport to the highest international standards.