Passenger and cargo flights that have been destined to Goma International Airport have been diverted to Entebbe due to eruption of the valcano on Mount Nyiragongo which is just 14 kilometers north of the terminal.
According to a source in the aviation industry, Entebbe was chosen to handle flights to the Eastern Congo and this has therefore, increased traffic at Entebbe.
“It is true Entebbe is handling all flights to Goma due to what happened and this has seen an increase of both passengers and goods” the source told Eagle Online.
The diversion of the flights to Entebbe come at the time when DRC Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Christophe Lutundula Apala was in Kampala.Initially built with a paved 3000 m runway and a large terminal and apron, the airport has not recovered from the 2002 and the recent eruption volcano Nyiragongo, 14 km to the north. The airport couldn’t handle any wide-bodied aircraft except for freight operations run by relief agencies and the United Nations.
Apala was this afternoon meeting President Yoweri Museveni at State House Entebbe. Kampala has already deployed soldiers in the Congo as part of the joint operation against Allied Democratic Forces that have been killing locals on both sides of the border.
New Vision earlier on reported that Minister Apala, who started his visit on Thursday that ends on Saturday, is here to “further bolster the cordial bilateral relations and deepen cooperation between the two countries.” The state run paper quoted a statement from from Foreign Affairs ministry.