Wilson Airport to be shut down for 6 hours over Jamhuri Day fete

Wilson Airport

A section of Wilson Airport in Nairobi. 

Photo credit: File | | Nation media Group

What you need to know:

  • Wilson Airport will be closed from 8.30am to 2.30pm on Tuesday following the Jamhuri Day celebrations.
  • Some flights will be arriving and departing from JKIA and not Wilson Airport as previously scheduled.

Wilson Airport will be closed from 8.30am to 2.30pm on Tuesday December 12 following the Jamhuri Day celebrations.

The closure will affect several flights, especially those used by tourists visiting various attractions in the country.

"We have just received a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) indicating changes to the closure period. Please be advised that Wilson Airport and the airspace will be closed from 0830 to 1410 local time. This means that some flights will be arriving and departing from JKIA and not Wilson Airport as previously scheduled," read a notice from Safarilink Airlines.

Another airline operating out of the airport also advised its customers to make appropriate travel arrangements.

"The authorities have advised the general public that there may be disruptions and heavy traffic on Langata Road as the gateway to Uhuru Gardens tomorrow. We would like to advise all departing passengers to Wilson Airport to take note and make adequate arrangements to arrive on time," it said.

The celebrations, which will be presided over by President William Ruto, usually feature fly-pasts by Kenya Air Force jets.

This is not the first time an airport has been temporarily closed to accommodate the national celebrations. Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) has been closed several times in the past for the celebrations.

Wilson Airport is the main hub for light aircraft flying within Kenya and neighbouring countries. It is one of the busiest light aircraft airports in Africa. The airport caters for both domestic and international traffic. It is mainly used by general aviation.

Passengers scheduled to fly into or out of Wilson Airport on Beach and Bush flights are urged to contact their airlines and/or travel agents immediately to enquire about any changes to their flight schedules. This will ensure that pick-ups and drop-offs are not missed and flights are not missed altogether.

This year's Jamhuri Day celebrations, marking 60 years of independence, will be held at Uhuru Gardens.

This comes after Nairobi residents who regularly use Lang'ata Road were urged on Monday to consider alternative routes on Tuesday, according to Nairobi Regional Commander Adamson Bungei.

While no road closures are planned, increased police presence in various estates and streets is expected to maintain order during the Jamhuri Day celebrations.

During a press briefing, Mr Bungei assured that traffic flow in the city, starting from residential areas, will be well coordinated.

Major roads in the city will not be disrupted and security measures have been in place for the past four days. The regional commander stressed that there should be no concern about challenges during the celebrations.

However, motorists using Lang'ata Road were advised to expect heavy traffic with no road closures. Suggested alternative routes include the Lang'ata Interlink towards Ngong Road.

Mr Bungei noted that security for the Jamhuri Day celebrations, including the ongoing Youth Summit, had been in place for several days.

He urged residents to report any suspicious activities for immediate police action.

In preparation for the festivities, Nairobi County Commissioner Katee Mwanzia announced that gates will open at 6 am, with participants expected to be seated by 8 am.

Residents from all 17 sub-counties are encouraged to attend, and police have assured the public of heightened security to prevent cases of robbery, assault and car theft during the festive season.