Sunday, 15 May 2016

US government denies black listing Kenya airspace

 

Abdikarim Hussein 2 hours ago 3526
The US government denies reports to blacklist Kenya airspace
 The United States has denied a report by the Standard newspaper that it was planning to blacklist Kenya’s airspace, in press statement the US said the notice listing Kenya was for information only and did not direct or suggest airlines from avoiding Kenyan airspace
– In the reports circulated in the media Kenya’s airspace was included among countries that had an  insecure airspace
The United States government has denied reports in the media that it wants Kenyan airspace be declared a conflict zone.
In a press statement to local media and also posted on is website, the US Embassy in Kenya said the listing of The Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) for Kenya on the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) Conflict Zone Information Repository (CZIR) website was for the purposes of information only.
The US government said listing Kenya in the website was not for any threat but it follows periodic procedure that is regularly updated.
In an earlier report by the Standard the US took the move to black list Kenyan without alerting Kenya of any intelligence or at least providing reason for the move.
The US government said NOTAM does not direct or suggest international airlines from avoiding Kenyan airspace.
“The Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) for Kenya issued by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on February 26, 2016 is part of a periodic review of existing NOTAMs. The FAA revised and re-issued an existing Kenyan airspace NOTAM that has been continuously in place since 2003. It is not based on any new threat information. The subsequent listing of this NOTAM on the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) Conflict Zone Information Repository (CZIR) website was for purposes of information only, and is consistent with US practice for other NOTAMs. Neither the NOTAM nor the website directs or suggests that airlines avoid Kenyan airspace,” the statement from the US government read.
Kenya which has faced terror threats has felt the brunt of governments like the US and Britain who have given it travel advisories whenever it experiences terror related attacks.
With the country relying on tourism and trade such notices by the US government are bound to affect the country’s economy negatively.
The United States said the report by the Standard was wrong  and that it was working with the Kenya to fight terrorism and combat violent extremism.
Below is the full statement from the US government.
“The story in today’s Standard newspaper alleging that the United States is seeking to “blacklist” Kenya’s airspace is wrong. The Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) for Kenya issued by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on February 26, 2016 is part of a periodic review of existing NOTAMs. The FAA revised and reissued an existing Kenyan airspace NOTAM that has been continuously in place since 2003. It is not based on any new threat information.
The subsequent listing of this NOTAM on the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) Conflict Zone Information Repository (CZIR) website was for the purposes of information only, and is consistent with U.S. practice for other NOTAMs. Neither the NOTAM nor the website direct or suggest that airlines avoid Kenyan airspace.
Kenya’s aviation security has improved in recent years. The United States recognizes this and continues to strongly support the effort to initiate direct flights between Kenya and the United States. The issuance of the NOTAM has no effect on continuing U.S. efforts to support the Government of Kenya in meeting international standards for direct flights.
The United States is working in close partnership with Kenya to strengthen the Government of Kenya’s ability to counter terrorism and violent extremism. The United States also strongly supports Kenya’s efforts as part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Notwithstanding the progress in the fight against al-Shabaab and other extremists that this partnership has achieved, the United States views a continued advisory NOTAM for the present as a prudent measure to provide information to enhance the safety of U.S. air operators, their passengers, and crews.
The FAA monitors threats to U.S. civil aviation world-wide. FAA NOTAMs concern aviation facilities, conditions, or hazards for U.S. air carriers’ and commercial operators’ flight operations personnel. The NOTAM will be regularly reviewed.”

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