Power cut hits Mombasa’s international airport


(Posted 29th September 2013)

Only weeks after a devastating fire at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi do the woes for the Kenya Airport Authority continue, as this evening their second most important airport, Moi International Mombasa, descended into utter darkness just before 8 p.m. local time. Standby generators failed to engage and passengers had to use their torches or mobile phones to light up their immediate neighbourhood, as operations came to a standstill and flights in and out of Mombasa were not possible during the outage as runway lights too went dark.

Concerns from stakeholders immediately focused on aviation security, as the entire complex was dark and apparently not a single stand by light was functioning in crucial areas when the lights went out, rendering staff unable to see what was transpiring at the entrance gates or elsewhere in arrival and departure terminals.

(Picture by Travel Guru @Njooro)

A picture received from a fellow Tweep provided instant proof of the surrounding darkness, which by initial reports on twitter lasted for at least 10 minutes before some few emergency lights came on, with no explanation given by KAA through social media or other means.

Yes a driver called when the lights went out. He had gone to drop off passengers and made sure the office was told right away in case there would be delays. How can the generators not come on immediately when the lights go out at the airport. Imagine a plane is just about to land or about to take off. Can the airport authority bosses finally wake up and do something about such operational failures? I remember when some time ago the airport could not operate at night because the runway lights had gone out for several days. It is dangerous and irresponsible’ commented a regular Mombasa based source when called about the incident.

It is now wait and see how and when KAA finds it fit to respond to queries raised on Twitter or through conventional channels as airlines and the general public want answers to this latest lapse.

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