Kenya: There Was No 'Missing Plane' Destined for Wilson Airport

A section of Wilson Airport in Nairobi when the National Police Air wing helicopter was conducting a security surveillance (file photo).
3 December 2019

Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) this morning conducted an emergency drill at Wilson Airport to gauge the level of preparedness.

KCAA issued a statement after reports on social media indicated that a small aircraft had gone 'missing' at about 9:30am.

"A plane was to land at Wilson Airport around 9:30 but its missing and can't be located on the radar. Nobody knows where it is. The plane was from Rusinga Island and had 6 on board. The small plane disappeared in Narok vicinity," the report which was circulating on social media.

KCAA Director General Capt Gilbert Kibe said they were conducting a drill to see how the government was prepared.

"This exercise will help us gauge the preparedness of Government Agencies that are part of the National Aeronautical Search and Rescue System in responding to an aviation incident or accident," he said in a statement.

The exercise dubbed 'Okoa Maisha Asarex 2019' was aimed at assessing the State's level of preparedness in coordination, communication, command and control of the National Aeronautical Search and Rescue System in responding to an aviation accident or incident.

State agencies involved in the Tuesday morning exercise were KCAA, National Police Service, KDF, Kenya Met, KWS, Ministry of Health, Kenya Airports Authority and Kenya Airways.

SEARCH AND RESCUE

Search and Rescue (SAR) entails a missing or lost aircraft and provision of assistance to persons who are in distress or immediate danger after an air crash.

Last month, the United Kingdom issued a travel warning to its citizens over the use of planes that operate at Wilson Airport in Nairobi following several mishaps.

Frequent air mishaps involving Wilson Airport-based light aircraft have been on the rise in the last two months, exposing laxity in enforcing safety rules by the aviation regulator.

A SafariLink plane carrying 10 passengers which veered off the runway after a tyre burst, led to the closure of the airport for 30 minutes in November.

There was another mid-air scare in October when an aircraft belonging to low-cost carrier Silverstone Air lost a tyre while taking off from Lodwar Airstrip in Turkana County.

Early the same month, another aircraft operated by the same airline veered off the runway at Wilson Airport.

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