KENYA AIRPORTS AUTHORITY HIT BY ANOTHER BLACKOUT
News are gradually filtering in of yet another power outage at Kenya’s and the region’s premier airport, Jomo Kenyatta International in Nairobi, which was hit on Saturday evening by a blackout lasting several hours and forcing the diversion of arriving flights to Mombasa and as far as Entebbe. Departing flights were delayed for takeoff too when after the initial KPLC power failure the backup generators failed to start, leaving the entire airport, runways and all in darkness. The debacle follows earlier such outages when for instance in Mombasa some time ago operations were restricted to daylight operations when the lighting conduits for the runway, approach lights and taxiway perimeter lights had failed for several days but Nairobi too had in the past been hit by outages with backup equipment then failing to operate.
Being the region’s primary airport with about 50 international and local airlines operating out of JKIA, this, according to an aviation source, is simply not acceptable, considering the level of charges KAA levies on airlines and the slow process of the airport expansion work which has, going by the same regular source ‘been going on for too long and we see too little progress’.
This correspondent only recently travelled repeatedly via JKIA and was able to see the extensive work going on, and judging by his own recollection vis a vis previous visits to Nairobi can vouch that work is indeed progressing, steadily but still not fast enough. In particular the main terminal continues to be a beehive of activity most of the day, as ‘hub and spoke’ operations continue throughout, and the limited space in the terminal’s main section, where arriving and departing passengers still mix, must be addressed fast and comprehensively to ensure Nairobi can become a convenient and comfortable transit airport as it should be and not showing itself the way it has been for too long, congested, overcrowded and subsequently NOT inviting at all.
Barbs once more for KAA for failing to keep their systems maintained and in 100 percent working order.
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