The main runway at Entebbe International Airport is now open for use, after ten and half hours following an incident on Wednesday morning.
A RwandAir aircraft Bombadier CRJ900 flight number WB464 this morning skidded off the main runway upon landing at Entebbe International Airport. Preliminary reports show that the incident was due to bad weather.
The incident happened at 5:31am. All 44 passengers and 7 crew members disembarked from the plane safely.
Vianney Luggya, the spokesperson Uganda Civil Aviation Authority, says “Entebbe International Airport’s main runway (17/35) is now open and flights have been given clearance to resume.”
Ivan Mugisha, the Country Manager of RwandAir, says the affected aircraft was coming from Nairobi and expected to depart at Entebbe with passengers heading to Dubai, Kigali, Johannesburg and Doha. “All the affected passengers have been booked into hotels and will board the next available flights,” says Mugisha after the aircraft was removed from the runway.
Earlier, UCAA issued a Notice to Airmen-NOTAM, saying the main runway would be blocked temporarily from 10:30am to 12:30pm. However, a second NOTAM was issued saying the runway would be blocked until 4pm. The runway was thereby blocked and no incoming or outgoing flights were allowed from 5:30am to 4pm.
As a result, of the 34 incoming flights scheduled to land on Wednesday, only three had landed, including RwandAir by 5:30am. The rest have been delayed or diverted to Juba and Nairobi while four were still on schedule to take off from 6:30pm.
Thirty two departures were expected on Wednesday.However only two air crafts had departed by 3am. 23 flights were either cancelled or rescheduled while seven flights initially scheduled for departure after 7:30pm were not affected.
Flydubai and Saudia, expected to depart before midday cancelled the flights while Kenya Airways that was initially supposed to depart at 10:50am and 4:30pm will now leave at 8:50pm and 10:30pm respectively, Ethiopian Airlines initially for 3pm will depart at 8pm.
However, some of the affected passengers have expressed their disappointment with UCAA and various airlines for not briefing them on whether or not they will still fly from Mombasa to Entebbe or from Entebbe to various destinations.
Meanwhile RwandAir has said investigations will be conducted by the airline and UCAA to find out the circumstances around the incident.
However, the preliminary report from UCAA and the airline is that the aircraft skidded off the runway due to poor visibility caused by heavy rains.