Air travel is reputed to be the safest form of transport. But on the flip side, accidents or mishaps can never be ruled out, like in any other form of transport.
On Wednesday, an EgyptAir 849 plane from Cairo with 123 passengers on board veered off the runway on landing at the JKIA and rolled off the tarmac.
Although Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) tried to be proactive in its response, many will see reopening Kenya’s main airport in Nairobi after almost 10 hours of closure as a reactive move.
An incident like this should ideally not stop planes from departing or arriving aircraft to be diverted to other destinations from JKIA, which serves as a regional hub. This now calls for speedy completion of the current expansion project and a higher level of preparedness in all our airports.
JKIA must remain a hub of choice and equally compete with others within and outside the continent.
Reports that the pilot in charge of the plane was new to the airport is also a cause for worry. It confirmed fears by experts that improvements in airline infrastructure and human resources have failed to catch up with the soaring number of passengers.
Only KAA can assuage legitimate fears that have now sprung up after the Egypt Air incident. Transparency, not obfuscation and excuses, is vital to restore confidence in the airline industry.