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BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,15TH MAY,2020-The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) on Friday denied that it plans to resume passenger flight operations at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
This comes a day after an internal memo by JKIA Airport Manager Abel Godo to officials from the Aeronautical Operational Control (AOC), all government agencies, concessionaires, contractors, suppliers and service providers about the imminent resumption of passenger flights for a meeting leaked.
One of the agenda for the Zoom meeting included informing the civil aviation team about the precautionary public health measures against Covid-19.
“In preparation of the imminent resumption of passenger operations at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, you are hereby invited to a virtual meeting to be held on Wednesday 13th May 2020 at 11.00hrs,” read the memo.
The meeting was also meant to strategise on the seamless continuity of operations and activities at the airport.
However, speaking to the Nation ,the KAA Media Relations Officer, Grace Odhiambo said that it was unfortunate that the information leaked.
She clarified that the meeting, which has since been postponed, was meant to put in place measures in case the flight operations resume.
“We were supposed to have a meeting with the stakeholders but the meeting never took place. It was pushed to a later date due to operational issues.
“What we are currently doing is putting measures in place, should we open; then we will have adhered to the Ministry of Health guidelines in terms of social distancing. We are putting additional fumigation counters, signages among other things,” Ms Odhiambo said.
KAA admits that cargo is still admissible but they have to seek clarity and guidance from the Ministry of Transport on passenger service.
“Unless they lift it [ban on passenger flights], there is nothing we can do. We still don’t know when the operations will resume but we are making adjustments,” she added.
Ms Odhiambo said the measures are applicable to all airports to ensure safety amidst coronavirus pandemic.
Moi International Airport Manager Paul Wafula confirmed that they do routine meetings internally to brainstorm on the measures to put in place just in case the travel ban is lifted.
“What we want to ensure is that there enough space for social distancing in restaurants and waiting lounges, use of cashless systems among other precautionary measures in compliance with the Ministry of Health requirements,” Mr Wafula said.
He noted also noted that airports are guided by International Air Transport Association (IATA) safety standards worldwide.
International flights were suspended at midnight on March 25 after 15 Covid-19 cases were reported in the country.
The virus remains a big threat to countries worldwide and many governments remain adamant on boarder and airspace closure as part of measures to contain further spread of the virus despite huge losses being reported in the aviation sector.