Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Kenya Airport Authority blamed for Mombasa flight chaos

The closure of the single runway at Mombasa’s Moi International Airport (MBA) for several hours yesterday morning, between 0530 to at least 0930 hours, appears to have caught several airlines by surprise. Flights out of Mombasa were delayed and flights into Mombasa diverted, as aircraft approaching MBA were told that they could not land and had to seek alternative landing points while waiting to complete their journeys later on. Flights from Nairobi to Mombasa in the early morning were also delayed, prompting passengers to complain about the affected airlines’ alleged unreliability, only to learn later on that the fault lay with the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA).
Moi International Airport Manager, Mr. Kangogo, was subject to ridicule when he, in a belated attempt to mitigate the damage done, tried to cite the “safety of passengers” as their main concern.
No information could be received to confirm that a formal NOTAM, aka Notice to Airmen, a commonly-used public information system informing airlines and cockpit crews of such closures, was in fact posted in advance as it should have been, although there are strong indications that if at all one was published it happened belatedly.
Officials from affected airlines opted not to comment in time for this article being posted, their silence speaking volumes.
KAA has in recent times been under scrutiny over actions taken by their current and previous CEOs, namely the massive demolition of properties on allegedly disputed land, in the face of a court order preventing any such action, while also facing intense criticism over the ongoing delays in completion of Terminal 4 at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi, the rollout of the US$650+ million Project Greenfield, repeated past landing light failures in Nairobi and corruption allegations presently being investigated.


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