Security breach as Kenyan officials reveal Obama’s itinerary
White House security officials were on Tuesday sent into a spin after Kenyan officials published the arrival and departure times of Air Force One in a stunning breach of protocol.
The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) wrote to all airlines and travel firms, informing them that the airspace will be closed between 7.45pm and 8.35pm.
According to KCAA officials, the airspace will also be closed to all other planes for 40 minutes, between 5.05pm and 5.45pm on Sunday, the day the US president is expected to leave.
This is a clear indication that Mr Obama will arrive in the country between 7.45pm and 8.35pm on Friday and leave between 5.05pm and 5.45pm on Sunday.
It is standard practice by White House never to publish the 40 to 50 minute window during which Air Force One is scheduled to land or take off, according to Fox News.
A pre-flight information bulletin, circulated to air operators by the KCAA’s Aeronautical Information Service Department, warns that both the JKIA and the Wilson Airport will be out of bounds for aircraft flying 20,000 feet and below during the specified hours on both Friday and Sunday.
The bulletin, dated July 20, indicates that the airspace around Nairobi, code-named Prohibited Area 24, will be closed up to 20,000 feet.
Aviation experts said aircraft overflying Nairobi above that height would not be affected by the closure.
“If you are travelling this weekend, please plan to arrive at the airport early enough to ensure you do not miss your flight,” the bulletin advises.
According to the bulletin, there will be increased traffic on roads in Nairobi as a result of the closure of some major ones and those leading to the JKIA.
Information regarding Mr Obama’s itinerary during his three-day stay in the country has remained closely guarded by both the Kenyan government and the US embassy.