KCAA Takes Action as Birds Hover Over International Airport

  • The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) has taken action over a looming catastrophe at the Moi International Airport (MIA), Mombasa.

    On Tuesday, October 5, KCAA wrote a letter demanding the immediate relocation of Mwakirunge dump site which is on the flight paths for aircrafts landing and taking off from MIA.

    KCAA Director General, Gilbert Kibe, argued that the dump site hosts a large number of birds even as the number of bird strikes in the country continue to be a concern to the aviation industry.

    A File Image of KCAA Director General Gilbert Kibe
    A File Image of KCAA Director General Gilbert Kibe

    “When you have a dump site there, it attracts birds. When you have a bird that is flying overhead Mwakirunge, and there is an aircraft passing through, there is danger of a bird strike,” Kibe explained.

    He added that bird strikes are a danger to aircrafts and may result to aircraft complications. In turn, the lives of passengers are also at risk.

    In addition, KCAA stated that the birds also tamper with vital navigation equipment used to guide planes landing and taking off from the airport.

    So far, both local and international aircrafts have been affected by bird strikes. In 2017, a local flight lost one of its engines due to damage caused by a bird strike.

    This caused a temporary stall in operations along the Mombasa – Nairobi flight route.

    An international aircraft flying above the Kenyan air space was forced to make an emergency landing at the same Moi International Airport after it suffered a bird strike.

    However, Mombasa County Chief Officer, Environment, Ilhan Abass, has denied receiving any letter from KCAA. She stated that the devolved unit is, however, open to working with the authority.

    KCAA’s Wildlife Control Department has put more than 10 dump sites under flight paths on its radar. The dump sites have led to an increase in bird population with the marabou stalks, crows and the sacred ibis.

    A Boeing 737 plane while flying in the sky
    A Boeing 737 plane while flying in the sky