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Kenya Airways resumes night flights at JKIA

By | Dec 24th 2009 | 2 min read
By | December 24th 2009

By Peter Orengo

Nine Kenya Airways flights were cancelled following poor lights on the runways at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

Hundreds of passengers travelling between Nairobi and Mombasa were stranded at JKIA and Moi International Airport Mombasa following the cancellation on Tuesday night.

This forced Kenya Airways management to book them into hotels.

Kenya Airways said it suspended its services following a Notam (Notice to Air Men) from Kenya Civil Aviation Authority that the runway threshold lights do not meet the minimum International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) requirements.

Kenya Airways assured its customers it had resumed night operations at JKIA.

A statement by the CEO Titus Naikuni said: "The runway lighting system has been restored and meets ICAO standards and Kenya Airways safety requirements.

Defective circuits

"We were forced to reschedule our planes after a warning by KCAA," Chris Karanja, the Communications Manager, said yesterday.

Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) said defective circuits caused the problem.

But KAA insisted the night flights had not been suspended as reported in sections of the media.

"We had a problem with our circuit system, which caused some runway lights not to function properly," Corporate Affairs Manager Dominic Ngigi told The Standard.

"KAA would like to state that Notam was issued by KCAA as a precaution to pilots on the ongoing repair works on the runway lights," he said.

Notam gives the status of the lighting at the airport and requests pilots to exercise caution on landing and take-off. It also informs pilots that they face delays when the emergency lights are being activated.

He said at no time did KCAA suspend flights and there were 24 take-offs and 12 landings between 7:20pm and 3:3am.

"KCAA as the Air Navigation Service provider issued a notice to airmen as required by ICAO on the lighting and the ongoing repair works," KCAA Corporate Manager Mutia Mwandikwa said.

The two aviation authorities said the runway lighting repairs would be completed in a week’s time.

Kenya Airways deferment of the flights put pressure on revenues at a time when the global aviation industry was reeling from lower passenger numbers and escalating operational costs.

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