Runway light failure leads to flight cancellations


(Posted 16th May 2015)

An inexplicable failure of the runway lights at Kisumu’s airport yesterday evening led to the cancellation of all flights in and out of Kenya’s lakeside city.

Aviation source in Nairobi expressed their consternation that the lights failed as the airport expansion and modernization was only completed two years ago. In the opinion of a regular pundit here should the Kenya Airport Authority have backup, either via generator or via secondary circuits but that judgement will be left no doubt for an upcoming investigation into the causes of the outage.

Meanwhile did Kenya Airways have to cancel their evening flight to and from Kisumu as did Fly540 though there was talk of other flights too being affected.

Passengers voiced their frustration on social media and some, as ludicrous as it sounds, blamed Kenya Airways for their being stranded in Kisumu for the night, instead of directing their anger towards the Kenya Airport Authority which runs the airport and is responsible for the maintenance and 24/7 functioning of runway lights.

Kenya Airways issued the following statement just as soon as the technical failure became known and they were informed by their station personnel from Kisumu: ‘Dear valued guests, please note due to non-serviceability of runway lights in Kisumu, for safety reasons no flight are allowed to land in Kisumu Airport tonight’.

Any travellers to and from Kisumu in the morning should be at their respective airports in time when flights resume in daylight hours to avoid being offloaded for coming late, as no doubt all flights on Saturday in and out of Kisumu might now be fully booked to accommodate the overflow from the cancelled flights of the previous night.