Last week, as many Kenyans protesting the increase in the price of petroleum products following the implementation of the 16 per cent VAT on fuel, many could have a missed the story.
The media reported that one of the world’s worst aviation accident ever could have occurred in Kenyan airspace. An Ethiopian plane and an Italian aircraft missed a collision by a minute.
The Ethiopian pilot is said to have immediately adjusted the aeroplane to a higher altitude upon receiving a warning from the in-flight collision system.
Kenyan air traffic controllers appear to lay the blame on the strike by the Ethiopian air traffic controllers, who seemed not to have given proper guidance to their plane, a claim aviation authorities in Addis Ababa vehemently refuted and blamed their Kenyan counterparts.
Indeed, some of the pilots interviewed were of the view that once an aeroplane enters a country’s airspace, it is the duty of the local air traffic control to guide it until it exits. The buck, then, stops with the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA).
Kenyans are becoming wary of these incidents, the latest having happened just three months after the unsolved accident involving a Flysax aeroplane on the Aberdare Ranges in June that killed all the 10 passengers and crew.
The long-awaited direct flights to New York, which are expected to increase the number of tourists from US to Kenya, will soon take off. Air accidents should be allowed to occur at this time.
Seth Mwangani, Nairobi.