ANOTHER POWER OUTAGE HITS JKIA – AIRLINES DEMAND ACTION / RESIGNATIONS
Earlier this morning was East Africa’s most important aviation gateway, the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, again hit by a power outage, delaying incoming and outgoing flights.
Kenya Airways just moments ago tweeted their return to normal operations to their thousands of followers on Twitter, and also announced the same on their Facebook page, to reach as many as possible – notably with an apology while the Kenya Airport Authority, responsible for the repeated mess, remains shtumm as usual.
Said one regular source from JIKA to this correspondent when passing the information: ‘These people at KAA have no idea how to run an airport. Only recently a water boiler exploded. This is probably the fourth or fifth outage with major consequences for safety and huge cost for us air operators.
It is time someone responsible is getting fired now or some of these clowns resign because they simply cannot deliver. As long as politics are involved in aviation, like the past CEO Muhoho who is related to high up, there can never be professionalism. They should all be put on a one way flight to Antarctica or some place isolated and never come back to JKIA.’
The damage done to airlines this year alone through power failures without back up immediately coming on line has not been formally quantified but is thought to have run into the combined millions of dollars.
Time to wake up KAA and face reality and DEAL with such issues once and for all, before something major happens when the light go out at night as a plane is about to touch down!
MORE LODGES FOR MERU CONSERVATION AREA
Kenya Wildlife Service handed over two sites for development to investors, who are now tasked with putting up tourist facilities in the Kora National Park and the Meru National Park, both part of the greater Meru Conservation Area. The conservation area, comparably less visited than other better know national parks and reserves, is unique in many ways and holds both scenic and wildlife attractions few would expect who have not visited this part of Kenya. Meru has been lacking in sustained promotion and lacking enough tourism facilities to turn it into a greater success story.
‘Friends of Meru Conservation Area’ in fact have established a Facebook group, which can be accessed via this link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/290052387659 where regular information and updates are posted, including from those actually working in the area, regular and occasional visitors, or where specially organized trips from Nairobi are advertised.
Meru is one of the parks KWS is planning to re-brand in order to make it more visible and to create demand and diversify the ‘classic’ safari itineraries to only the best known parks by highlighting just what often extraordinary safari experiences can be found in the other parks. GO VISIT.
BUGESERA AIRPORT DESIGN AND CONSULTANTS REPORT DUE OUT NEXT MONTH
Information was received overnight from Kigali confirming that the long awaited consultants’ report about the design proposals for the new international airport ‘Bugesera’ will be published next month, allowing stakeholders and the public at large to study it in detail.
Rwanda is presently connected to the world via Kanombe International Airport in Kigali but it was felt that a second, state of the art international airport would be crucial to the country’s future economic and social development.
The time frame for the development of the new aviation hub is still unclear although government has let it be known that once the various reports on detailed designs for the new airport have been broadly agreed upon, it would invite private sector developers to come on board and help achieve this project.
Kanombe International Airport is also the home base for RwandAir, one of the fastest growing ‘smaller’ airlines in the region. RwandAir is due to receive a brand new Boeing 737-800 in a few weeks time and a second one later in the year, allowing it further expansion and more flights into the nearer and wider East African region. Visit www.rwandair.com for more information.
SOUTH SUDAN LIAISON OFFICES UPGRADE TO EMBASSIES
The former liaison offices of the South Sudan have been turned into fully fledged embassies only days after the South attained the long awaited independence from the regime in Khartoum, and several ambassadors were already appointed across East Africa.
Now that the United Nations have formally admitted the Republic of South Sudan as its 193rd member country, the government in Juba is stepping up efforts to have its own foreign diplomatic missions put into place while the world is rushing to Juba to open their own embassies, to promote bilateral relations and in particular trade.
Sources close to the tourism ministry in Juba have also confirmed that the entire Visa and arrival / post arrival protocol is being reviewed in coming weeks and months, to establish mechanisms to eventually grant Visa on arrival, instead of having to pre-obtain Visa in advance, which is seen as a deterrent to promoting the flow of visitors.
Also under review is the old archaic regulation of having to register with internal security after being cleared at the airport, a rule imposed by the former regime in Khartoum which was paranoid about controlling the movement of visitors, not just in the North but also in the South. ‘We know this is a bit of a problem for tourists’ the source on condition of anonymity said before adding ‘when tourists fly to Juba and want to fly immediately to our parks, like to Boma, then there is no time to go to the city and follow such old fashioned rules. They need to be able to fly to the parks, have a good safari and then fly back to Juba airport for their departure. This we must facilitate if we want more tourists to come here. We are soon going to start work on streamlining such issues’.
Potential visitors should consult the nearest embassy of the Republic of South Sudan to ascertain what exactly will be required at this moment in time or else consult with their respective safari operators to avoid disappointment.