The American Government has formally denied reports exclusively obtained from official government correspondences that it is behind a campaign to have Kenyan airspace declared a conflict zone.
In a statement circulated to newsrooms, the American 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 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 reads in part.
Experts say conflict zones refer to airspace over areas where armed conflict is occurring or is likely to occur between militarised parties. Countries currently under conflict zones include Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Others are Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen.
The US Embassy, however, said Kenya’s aviation security has improved in recent years, adding that the US recognises this and continues to strongly support the effort to initiate direct flights between Kenya and the US.
The Embassy spoke a day after The Standard on Saturday exclusively published the report based on official government correspondence and which corresponds with dispatches that several senior State officials confirmed to be authentic
Standard Media KE