Why Kenyans have been warned against flying to or out of Ethiopia

It is our considered opinion that aircrafts operating in and out of Adis Ababa are in grave danger-KATCA

A statement issued by the association on 30 August revealed that serious safety issues that are a threat to passengers have been noted within the last few days after their Ethiopian counterparts went on strike.

“It is our considered opinion that aircrafts operating in and out of Addis Ababa are in grave danger as the situation continues to deteriorate” read the statement in part.

Air Traffic Controllers in Ethiopia went on strike on 27 August protesting low pay. Reports indicate that retired controllers were called to step in as matters deteriorated with current staff downing their tools.

KATCA claimed that the retirees have no current validation, are too slow, are unfamiliar with coordination procedures and could not pass or receive estimates correctly.

“Flights inbound Nairobi from Addis Ababa are calling Nairobi Control Tower without prior estimates with possibility of creating serious air-misses with known traffic at the transfer point.

Some flights originating from Adis Ababa are entering the Nairobi airspace at wrong flight levels, some Easbound flights are coming with West bound flight levels while some West bound are coming in with East bound flight levels, increasing chances of serious air masses.” The statement read.

“Letters of agreement between Addis Ababa and Nairobi on co-ordination procedures are not being followed. Flights inbound to Nairobi from Addis Ababa are calling Nairobi Control without prior estimates, with the possibility of creating serious air-misses with known traffic at the transfer point”.

KATCA urged all parties in the standoff to resolve the issues so that operations can return to normal.

However, the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority has rejected the claims terming them false while maintaining that the airline had highly trained professions manning the ACC.

"The Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority fully and categorically rejects the false and baseless statements circulated by the Kenyan Air Traffic Controllers Association in their circular of 30 August 2018 regarding the safety of Ethiopian airspace following the illegal strike of Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs) in Ethiopia," part of the statement read.

Attached is the full statement:

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