News, images and video on Kenyan and global aviation

Kenya’s aviation safety standards high, says KCAA boss

Kenya has achieved a high standard of aviation safety and security, says the head of the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA), citing an audit performed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

KCAA Director-General, Col. (Rtd) Hilary Kioko.

KCAA Director-General, Col. (Rtd) Hilary Kioko.

“Kenya achieved a score of 80% in the ICAO audit, which compares well with the global average of 60%,” said Col. (Rtd) Hilary Kioko, Director-General of the KCAA.

In Africa, Kenya did very well considering that the continent’s average performance was 40%.

As the air transport industry continues to grow across Africa, there is need to enhance aviation safety and security, adds Col. Kioko.

The KCAA Director-General was speaking at the African Airports Evolution Forum which KCAA hosted in Nairobi. The forum was called to discuss airport development in Africa as the continent experiences an economic boom. Participants included regulators, airport authorities and equipment suppliers.

Col. Kioko described last August’s fire at JKIA as a reminder that aviation facilities can be vulnerable to disaster. Unexpected situations could arise and disrupt air transport, thus the need for reliever or contingency airports. In the case of the JKIA fire, aircraft were diverted to as far away as Kilimanjaro and Entebbe Airports.

The JKIA fire happened after the airport was declared fully compliant with ICAO regulations. Indeed, KCAA awarded JKIA its Aerodrome Certification for 2013 in May, just three months before the fire. JKIA was initially certified in 2008 and has continued to be re-certified ever since.

The KCAA boss talked about the reaction of emergency services during the JKIA fire, saying it is an example of collaborative and consultative response. “There were no fatalities, the airport was back in business within a few hours and full services were restored in 24 hours,” said Col. Kioko.

On liberalization of air services across Africa, Col. Kioko admitted that the process has been, “slow.” There is, however, ongoing discussion on liberalization as the aviation sector continues to grow.

“Liberalization means going beyond bilateral air service agreements (BASAs),” explains Kioko, “with liberalization, there will be improved service provision across Africa, but the increased traffic will put more pressure on airports and airlines to provide better services because travellers will have a wider variety to choose from.”

, , ,

Comments are currently closed.