Aviation sector players have urged the government to turn around fortunes of troubled Wilson Airport that has been tainted by the recent accidents.
Mishaps involving airport-based light aircraft coupled with another two planes skidding off the runway caused jitters in the aviation sector.
The first incident involved a Silverstone plane that crashed on the runway shortly after take-off. A Safari Link plane, registration 5Y-SLJ, would later skid off the runway but with no injuries. The UK government issued a travel warning to its citizens overuse of planes that use Wilson Airport.
“There are some concerns about lack of security arrangements at Wilson airport in Nairobi. Be vigilant at all times when transiting airports,” read part of the travel advisory. Hasnain Noorani, Managing Director for Prideinn group of hotels, says the airport’s bad reputation is hurting the city travel and hospitality industry especially following the UK travel warning.
“The airport, which is mainly used for domestic and regional flights as well as charters, is in need of serious attention. We call upon Kenya Airports Authority and other relevant agencies to urgently intervene and reconstruct the airport’s runway,” he said, adding that if the government does not act fast, other countries might follow suit and give more travel advisory.
“It is better they speed up renovations to ensure smooth operations for our guests and tourists,” said Prideinn Hotels sales and marketing director Farzana Zahir. The new development comes at a time when the hospitality sector is primed to reap from a tourism boom which starts towards the festive season.
The hoteliers hope the airport does not purge profits. Passenger traffic at Wilson Airport rose by 27.8 per cent to an all -time high of 528,000 passengers in 2017, from 413,146 in 2016, official data shows.
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