Kenyan aviation sources yesterday expressed their frustration and dismay over a recurring NOTAM (short for ‘Notice to Air Men’) issued a few days ago by EASA – the European Aviation Safety Agency.
The agency had issued a so called Conflict Zone Information Bulletin which will, according to information sources, remain in place until at least November 11 of this year, and which, according to information, originated in the UK.
Airlines are warned to be careful when flying into and overflying Kenyan airspace at altitudes of 25,000 feet or less, citing the risk of anti-aircraft fire, a notion roundly rejected by the individuals spoken with, who all however declined to be quoted, leave alone named.
Such EASA recommendations, as issued now, are not binding, but could, in case of an incident, have negative consequences for the airlines concerned, if ignored.
The US FAA had earlier issued a similar warning, which is still in place, and which, among other things, has prevented American airlines from starting direct flights into Nairobi.
Only this week the Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Tourism Najib Balala has expressed his hope that by early next year flights between the United States and Kenya could be a reality, which would provide a major boost for Kenya’s tourism industry, cutting out layovers and connections through either Europe or the Gulf.