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Why JKIA had a blackout on Tuesday night

Kenya Airports Authority officials have confirmed a blackout incident at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on Tuesday, June 14 night.

The confirmation came hours after unestablished reports of a blackout in Kenya’s leading airport emerged on social media when affected passengers aired their grievances.

In a phone interview with the Standard, Harrison Machio, the General Manager for Operation and Safety confirmed the incident, saying it only lasted ten minutes.

“Yes, there was a blackout but it was well managed. We worked together with Kenya Power to restore normalcy on time,” Machio told The Standard.

“There was no delay, it only took ten minutes before the standby generators picked up and the airport’s normal operations resumed,”

Machio says the technical team is working to establish the cause of the blackout but highly suspects one of the power towers failed.

“We have backup systems which picked up immediately. The runway was okay and well lit,” he added.

He has also reiterated that no flights were affected because the runway had sufficient lighting.

“Only passengers at the terminal were disrupted but that was managed as soon as the power was restored. We have a backup generator and two power substations. If one fails, the other automatically pick up. So no flight was re-routed,” Machio noted.

Efforts by The Standard to reach the corporate communications department were in vain. Our calls went unanswered.

Reports of the blackout in one of the leading airports in Africa emerged online on Tuesday at midnight, with netizens claiming the outage went for over an hour.

“An actual blackout at JKIA with no generator?” Muthoni Maingi said on Twitter.

“Terminal 2 is in darkness and we can’t board the Emirates flight due to depart in less than an hour. How can there be a terminal without a backup generator? How can there be no engineers on duty??” James Nyiha, a lawyer captured his less-than-a-minute video.