NATO decided that the Hungarian airport in Papa city, Western Hungary become a military base for its strategic transportation instead of a base in Constanta, Romania or the one in Ramstein, Germany, Hungarian daily Nepszabadsag reports on Monday, quoted by MTI news agency.

American Ambassador to Budapest April H. Foley commented that the choice reflects the fact that NATO members consider Hungary to be an experienced, competent and trustworthy partner.

NATO intends to hold three out of four Boeing C-17 Globemaster III transportation airplanes at the Hungarian base. The first plane is due to arrive there by the end of 2008.

The C-17 Globemaster III is set for strategic transportation, holding a capacity of 77 tons of load that can transfer it over a distance of over 4,450 km. It plays an important part in transporting NATO military personnel to Iraq and Afghanistan and proving the necessary logistics for that area.

The C-17 will be maintained by some 200 military personnel from 17 countries and an expert team of Boeing.

NATO invested over 32 million euro in 2006-2007 to improve the airport in Papa.