A large fire caused “serious disruption” to operations and temporarily closed Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi on Wednesday. Authorities partially reopened the airport to cargo and domestic flights from the cargo terminal by mid-day Kenya time; international flights remained suspended.
An air transportation program has been launched for veterinarians serving in Kenya. Operating turbine aircraft, such as Cessna 208 Caravans, Sky Vets allows the mobile veterinary teams of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) and Kenya Wildlife Service to respond rapidly to animals in need of urgent care virtually anywhere in Kenya. In May, Sky Vets treated its first patient, an elephant seriously injured by a poisoned arrow. Without treatment, say the vets, the elephant would have died. Sky Vets is funded initially by a $40,000 start-up grant from U.S. Friends of DSWT.
Africa has been training pilots and other aviation professionals for decades, but never in large enough numbers to meet stringent international certification requirements for its own burgeoning aviation industry.
A chartered Fairchild Metro on a safari flight crashed on Mt. Kenya on July 19, killing both pilots and all 12 passengers. The South African-registered twin turboprop had left from Nairobi/Wilson Airport at about 3:48 p.m., en route to Buffalo Springs National Reserve, and crashed at the mountain’s 16,000-foot level in cloudy conditions just before sunset. A flight plan had allowed for an aerial sightseeing tour of Mt.
Swissport Executive Aviation has opened a business aircraft handling operation at Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. The Kenyan operation is the Swiss group’s third business aviation facility in Africa, with bases already having been established in South Africa and Tanzania with its local partner DAHCO.