US plays down reports of blacklisting Kenyan airspace

May 15, 2016 11:00 am
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The US says that the issuance of the NOTAM has no effect on continuing US efforts to support the government of Kenya in meeting international standards for direct flights due to improved Kenya’s aviation security in the recent years/FILE
The US says that the issuance of the NOTAM has no effect on continuing US efforts to support the government of Kenya in meeting international standards for direct flights due to improved Kenya’s aviation security in the recent years/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 15 – The US Government has denied media reports that it is seeking to blacklist Kenyan airspace.

In a statement, the US Government said the Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) for Kenya by the US Federal Aviation Administration on February 26, was part of a periodic review of existing notices and not to blacklist Kenya’s airspace.

The statement which was issued by US Embassy in Kenya explains further that the Federal Aviation Administration only revised and reissued an existing Kenyan airspace NOTAM that has been continuously in place since 2003 and is not based on any new threat information.

“The subsequent listing of this NOTAM on the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) Conflict Zone Information Repository (CZIR) website was for the purposes of information only, and is consistent with US practice for other NOTAMs. Neither the NOTAM nor the website direct or suggest that airlines avoid Kenyan airspace,” the statement explained.

The embassy says that the issuance of the NOTAM has no effect on continuing US efforts to support the government of Kenya in meeting international standards for direct flights due to improved Kenya’s aviation security in the recent years.

“Kenya’s aviation security has improved in recent years. The United States recognises this and continues to strongly support the effort to initiate direct flights between Kenya and the United States,” the US government said.

It says it will continue to work in close partnership with Kenya to strengthen the Government of Kenya’s ability to counter terrorism and violent extremism.

Meanwhile the US government says it also strongly supports Kenya’s efforts as part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

Notwithstanding the progress in the fight against al-Shabaab and other extremists that this partnership has achieved, it views a continued advisory NOTAM for the present as a prudent measure to provide information to enhance the safety of US air operators, their passengers, and crews.

“The NOTAM will be regularly reviewed.”

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