Kenya Tourism Federation takes issue with irresponsible media reports on airspace safety


(Posted 03rd March 2020)

The Kenya Tourism Federation notes, with grave concern, a misleading press article in section of media to the effect that a fresh air safety advisory has been imposed against Kenya’s airspace.
The misleading article makes reference to a NOTAM recently issued by the US Federal Aviation Administration and proceeds to state erroneously that FAA in updated alert warned civilian airliners and all operators of US registered aircraft to exercise caution “when flying over Kenyan airspace” and citing possible attacks by extremists.
In fact, the actual FAA advice is very specific and notifies all U.S air carriers and commercial operators to avoid flying below FL260 when flying into, out of, or over the area to the East of the 40 degree longitude line. This is basically the border with Somalia, (see map). The caution regarding travel near the areas bordering Somalia has been in existence for a long time and is not new.

By completely disregarding that the advice refers solely to the area east of 40 degrees longitude as indicated in the NOTAM, the article gives the erroneous impression that the caution by the FAA NOTAM applies to the whole of Kenyan airspace. It is only flights to the East of the specified longitude that are advised not to go below flight level 260 i.e. civil airlines should not fly over the Somalia border at less than 26,000 feet.

Kenya Tourism Federation takes great exception to this careless reporting that has caused considerable concern from our overseas partners resulting directly in cancellation of flights before the position was clarified and corrected by the aviation authorities and we urge the Media to be more responsible when reporting matters that are of a sensitive security nature.

We have also taken the liberty to share the current colour coded travel advisory and Kenya is listed on the same level with very many other countries globally like India, Brazil, and Ethiopia amongst many other stable nations

KTF would like to reassure all intending visitors to Kenya that commercial flights entering or leaving the country do not approach or depart from the stated area of concern near the border with Somalia. We therefore encourage visitors to feel free to continue with their travel plans to visit Magical Kenya and enjoy the beauty that the destination has to offer.

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