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Explosives have no place at civilian airports

Explosives have no place at civilian airports

Reports are emerging over the reason for the closure of Khartoum International Airport on Thursday evening, which caused delays of both inbound and outbound flights.

Sources speak of a fire at an ammunition and explosives storage inside the airport perimeter in an area occupied by Sudan’s armed forces, which prompted the airport management to shut down all operations until the fire had been put out. It appears that no major explosions of ordnance took place, a stroke of good luck for that matter as such an incident could have caused major damage through blast waves and flying debris to parked aircraft, engineering hangars and terminal buildings.

Commented a Kenyan aviation source on condition of anonymity: “We also have a Kenya Air Force base at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), on the Embakasi side. I am not aware they store ammunitions there. Our air force mainly uses the former Eastleigh Aerodrome and has bases as far as Nanyuki. Those facilities, which are not open to civilian air traffic, of course, store ammunitions but to keep explosives at a civilian airport is simply a big no go! But then, Khartoum plays by different rules it seems. I wonder what global bodies like ICAO and IATA have to say about such incidents.”

The airport in Khartoum was closed for about two hours on Thursday night while firefighters put out the blaze at the explosives store.

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