A Sh200 million Automated Weather Observation System (AWOS) has been installed at the Kisumu International Airport, further improving that airport’s profile as one of the best ports in the region.
Environment Cabinet Secretary Judi Wakhungu said that the new installation has placed Kisumu airport at par with other international airports and will come in hand in clearing the way for the introduction of direct flights to the United States.
The weather system is one of the top ten standards required to allow for the direct flights from Nairobi to Washington. The AWOS enables many operational user groups at the airport, including air traffic controllers, meteorological observers and maintenance personnel to smoothly run their operations.
Wakhungu divulged that that the new technology will ensure accurate and reliable data to enable airport safety and operational efficiency.
“The government is taking weather forecasting seriously and will endeavor to modernize the Kenya Meteorological Department to ensure that it relays accurate and timely weather information,” she said.
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi and Eldoret International Airports and Moi International Airport in Mombasa have also been installed with the new technology.
Speaking while opening the system in Kisumu, the Environment CS expressed optimism that the US flights will be introduced by December this year.
“My ministry is closely working with the Ministry of Transport to ensure all the requirements are met,” Ms Wakhungu said.
“The objective is to ease travels and improve business with the international community by ensuring our flights can connect directly with the other international airports across the globe.”
AWOS measures temperature, wind speed, wind direction, pressure, perspiration, solar radiation and thunderstorms with the information being availed after every ten minutes.