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Regulator clips air operators’ wings

By Cyrus Ombati | Published Fri, June 15th 2018 at 00:00, Updated June 14th 2018 at 22:53 GMT +3
Kenya Civil Aviation Authority Director General Captain Gilbert Kibe during an interview at his KCAA office. [Jenipher Wachie/Standard]

Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) has imposed operating restrictions on 29 air operator certificate holders.

The regulator has also placed sanctions on 15 Approved Maintenance Organisation (AMOs).

The move, which KCAA said affected those who had not completed certification, is aimed at ensuring conformity to industry regulations.

It comes in the wake of last week’s crash of a plane belonging to aviation firm Sax and operated by East African Safari Air Express in the Aberdare Forest, killing all 10, including its two pilots, who were on board.

The plane was destined for the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi from Kitale when it went missing from the radar and later found to have crashed.

The two pilots were redirected to JKIA and were to land through Utawala direction. This, according to officials, forced the pilots to take the Kinangop route, which is considered dangerous because of the weather.

KCAA Director-General Gilbert Kibe said yesterday in Nairobi the restriction would limit the operations of the affected air operators and AMOs to within the country’s boundaries.

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“The holder of the affected AOCs (Air Operator Certificates) will cease all international operations until such a time that they have completed the certification process to the satisfaction of the authority and in strict compliance with the applicable regulations,” he said.

Kibe said Kenya being a signatory to the Chicago Convention, was obliged to ensure that all activities in the aviation industry are conducted in accordance with the convention.

“The provisions contained in ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) Annexes Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) have been adopted as a national requirement in the Kenya Civil Aviation Regulations (KCARs). Certification of air operators, approved maintenance organisations, therefore, as a legal requirement, became applicable in 2008 when the initial sets of KCARs were promulgated,” he said.

Mr Kibe said AMOs that existed before the coming into force of the regulations have since been undergoing recertification.

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