JKIA hit by another power failure

July 17, 2011 1:09 pm

, NAIROBI, Kenya, July 16- Hundreds of passengers were on Sunday morning stranded at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) after flights were diverted due to a power outage.

The 3.30 am incident temporarily disrupted flight operations forcing the flights to be directed to Moi International airport in Mombasa, Kigali international airport in Rwanda and Entebbe international airport in Uganda and Julius Nyerere International Airport in Tanzania.

Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) attributed the power incident to an interruption on the main power supply lines.

“Preliminary investigations show that an earth fault occurred during the changeover to generator back-up power causing the outage,” said KAA Managing Director Stephen Gichuki.

However, Mr Gichuki explained that KAA engineers together with those from Kenya Power were on hand to restore normal operations at the airport.

“By 5.30am, KAA had deployed mobile emergency runway lights at JKIA and landing of flights resumed,” the MD said.

He said the situation had been rectified and a team of engineers would continuously monitor and test the power supply system to avoid such disruptions in future.

National carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) which was one of the airlines that had been affected confirmed that all their flights were operating normally.

“Kenya Airways wish to announce that the flight operations which had been temporarily disrupted by prolonged power outage at JKIA forcing us to divert the early morning flights, have returned to normal,” said Kenya Airways Managing Director and group CEO Titus Naikuni

While apologising for the incident that led to a major inconvenience to customers, the two institutions vowed to engage all stakeholders including KQ to ensure that such disruptions do not occur again.

This is not the first time that the airport, which is considered a hub in East and Central Africa has been hit by power blackouts which often leave the entire airport and runways in darkness.

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