- Title: DR CONGO: LITTLE ACTIVITY AT GOMA AIRPORT FOLLOWING VOLCANO.
- Date: 25th January 2002
- Summary: (U7) GOMA, CONGO (JANUARY 24, 2002) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. LV/GV/PAN: GOMA AIRPORT/ LAVA FILLED AIRSTRIP WITH PLANE WHICH CANNOT TAKEOFF/ CONTROL TOWER (6 SHOTS) 0.32 2. MV/CU: VARIOUS OF MUNYAGA LEONARD AT WORK (4 SHOTS) 0.49 3. CU: (SOUNDBITE)(English) GOMA AIRPORT AIR-TRAFFIC CONTROLLER, MUNYAGA LEONARD, SAYING: "Since the volcano made the activities, there is no any activities here - we only have one or two helicopter a day." 1.07 4. GV: CHOPPER LANDING 1.18 5. CU: (SOUNDBITE)(English) GOMA AIRPORT AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER, MUNYAGA LEONARD, SAYING: "Lava covers one thousand metres of the runway. Now we have only two thousand metres the plane can use. 1.34 6. LV/GV: VARIOUS OF DAMAGED RUNWAY (7 SHOTS) 2.07 7. GV/CU: (SOUNDBITE) (French) GOMA AIRPORT MANAGER, BIKORO NAKAZIBA, SAYING: "This airport is very important for this region. Goma is a commercial centre. We used to have 20 to 25 planes landing and leaving here each day. Now, maybe we have two, three U.N. helicopters each day, because the lava covered almost half of the runway it will be a long time before we can fly from here, have to land in Kigali." (2 SHOTS) 2.45 8. GV: WINDSOCK/ STEAM COMING FROM GROUND (2 SHOTS) 2.54 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 9th February 2002 12:00
- Location: GOMA, CONGO
- Country: Congo, Democratic Republic of
- Reuters ID: LVADERQYT1H22TQOAYOLPLLBEO6I
- Story Text: What do you do as an air-traffic controller when your
airport has been overrun by thousands of cubic feet of
Munyaga Leonard has a lot of time on his hands at work
these days. An air traffic controller at Goma airport, he
stares wistfully out of a cracked window at the blanket of
dark lava which covers a third of the runway.
"Since the volcano made the activities, there is no any
other activities here. We only have one or two helicopters a
day," says Leonard, from behind his ancient control panel.
Goma airport used to have 20 to 25 planes landing and
leaving here each day, but now they have
have two, three U.N. helicopters each day.
A jovial 45-year-old with seven children, Leonard and his
family were among the 350,000 Goma residents to flee across
the border to neighbouring Rwanda last week when the tide of
lava unleashed by the Nyirangongo volcano swept into this
eastern Congolese city.
Leonard's house was spared but his runway was not. The
lava covered about 1,000 metres of the 3,000 metre runway,
stranding a forlorn-looking DC-8 near the airport's main
It is difficult to tell whether or not the airport can be
repaired or what the costs will be. If it can be repaired, it
will be extremely difficult.
Certain types of Antonovs -- the unreliable pack mules of
African skies -- and Boeing 727s can land and take off from
the stretch of runway that is not buried beneath the lava. But
it does not look like a very
inviting place to put down.
The airtraffic control tower, previously an
around-the-clock-operation, has been reduced to banking hours
and is only manned between eight in the morning and four in
Even these shortened hours are hard to fill.
"I read my bible, we make a picture, we speak with other
traffic controllers, we discuss about our lives," to keep busy
and pass time," says Leonard.
But Leonard wants to fill his empty hours more
productively and hopes the runway can be cleared of the molten
Goma airport is very important for eastern DRC, and it
also acts as a commercial centre.
But it seems unlikely that the empty parking lost outside
the airport's departure and arrival halls will fill up anytime
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2015. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None