ENTEBBE International Airport is among those in Africa that have been alerted to look out for a stolen passenger jet which the United States fears may end up being used by terrorists
The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) recently sent an alert to Entebbe Control Tower on the missing Boeing 727 from Angola. The jet went missing on May 25, a Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) official said.
â€œThis alert on the missing plane came in immediately from ICAO but it did not come to Entebbe alone, it went to several airports in the region and beyond,â€ the official said.
Meanwhile, the CAA yesterday warned that aviation fuel stocks were dwindling at Entebbe due to disruptions at the port of Mombasa.
Spokesman Ignie Igundura (above) said incoming flights should take note.
A source said, â€œWe have issued a notice to airmen that our stocks are limited. We are trying to meet with fuel companies to assess the situation.â€
But sources in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, said the shortage was caused by new conditions imposed on oil exports from Mombasa.
Since the disappearance of the jet, US spy satellites have taken pictures of remote airstrips throughout Africa and US diplomats have been seeking the aircraft, news agencies reported.
In another development, a light aircraft piloted by two South African pilots has also gone missing. The Cessna was flying from Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania to Lusaka, Zambia on Tuesday,
aviation sources said.
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer admitted the US had few leads over who was behind the theft of the plane from Angola. â€œWe donâ€™t have any reliable assessments about what this portends, what it could be, who may be behind it.
â€œBut it is an issue that is being worked on,â€ he said.
His comments follow a report in the Washington Post on Wednesday that the Central Intelligence Agency and the State Department had joined a continent wide hunt for the aircraft.
The paper quoted American officials as saying that in the worst case scenario the plane could be used in an 11 September-style attack
Angolan state radio said shortly after its disappearance that the jet had been chartered by an Angolan airline but was grounded after a number of irregularities.
The Boeing 727 took off from the Angolan capital on May 25 after being at the airport for 14 months.
When it started taxiing down the runway, the radio control tower tried to make contact with the pilot, but there was no response.
Entebbe warned on stolen aircraft