Africa: Another Crash-landing at Nairobi Airport leaves Passengers stranded for hours

By Friday Nwosu

Several passengers were left stranded at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), after an airplane from Somalia crash landed on the runway on Sunday evening.

This is the third time in the year the Nairobi will be experiencing incidences of crash landing at the airport forcing authorities to temporarily shut the terminal in order to restore normal operation.

According to the-star.co.ke, officials said an aircraft from Somalia made an emergency landing on its belly and veered off the runway.

It said Four people who were on board escaped unhurt.

The officials said the runway was temporarily closed to evacuate the aircraft.

Passengers coming from various airports and those taking off from JKIA were stranded for up to eight hours as officials worked to remove the plane from the scene.

The runaway was cleared at midnight after many flights had been canceled.

The passengers are being cleared slowly.

“It has not been an easy night due to the runway closure, we are glad 99 per cent of our diverted flights have already landed in Nairobi,” KQ said via twitter.

Kenya Airways said they expect spill over delays on Monday’s operations due to the closure.

“Keep checking our website for updated departure times,” the national carrier said.

In September, 2016, air operations at the East Africa’s busiest airport, was brought to a standstill as aircraft take-offs and landings came to a complete standstill.

According to eturbonews, an incoming Kenya Airways flight from Entebbe, KQ 415, burst its tires on landing, leaving the aircraft stuck on the runway and halting all aircraft traffic.

It said the runway incident has once again demonstrated the immediate need to have a second runway at the airport.

The passengers who were unharmed by the incident were disembarked from the aircraft and bussed to the terminal.

All incoming flights bound for Jomo Kenyatta International Airport subsequently, and at great expense to the affected airlines, had to be diverted to Mombasa while flight departures had to be delayed until the runway was eventually cleared after 9 pm and flights could resume.

Affected passengers and people on the ground were advised to seek information from their airline as to landing of inbound flights and revised take off times for outbound flights.

The incident prompted immediate calls from the aviation fraternity at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to give the building of the second runway top priority and see to it that it is completed at the earliest opportunity.

The second runway was part of the expansion of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport under the “Project Greenfield” which was launched with much fanfare by Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta only to be scrapped a year and a bit later, leaving contractor and government locked in arguments over compensation while further delaying the construction of the crucially important second runway.

Similarly, a female aviation student crash-landed a light aircraft at the Nairobi National Park on Thursday morning.

According to standardmedia.co.ke , the aviation student with her instructor escaped unhurt in the incident.

Officials said the 8.30am incident happened as the plane flew back to the Wilson Airport.

The aircraft – a Cesna112 of registration number 5YAKM belongs to SPC Aviation College.

The cause of the accident is still unclear. Aviation officials are investigating the incident which is the fourth this month.

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