NAIROBI, KENYA: Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia has thrown his weight behind the proposed National Aviation Management Bill by the National Assembly transport committee.
The Bill proposes a new company, Aviation Holding Company that will own the Kenya Aviation Corporation and oversee the aviation assets.
Some of the key assets that the new company will have as subsidiaries are the Kenya Airways (KQ), Kenya Airports Authority (KAA), and the Aviation Investment Corporation.
It also proposes the formation of a National Civil Aviation Council to be chaired by the president with the mandate to review the sector’s policies.
President Uhuru Kenyatta during the State of The Nation address called on the House to consider the Bill as an option in changing the fortunes of Kenya Airways.
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CS Macharia on Wednesday noted that the bill will help improve the competitiveness of Kenya Airways in the airline industry.
“The bill will facilitate the strategic transformation of the aviation sector in the country by consolidating our assets, thereby generating greater synergies from the joint operations of these assets,” said the CS.
The Bill is meant to save Kenya Airways by consolidating the airline’s assets with those of the Kenya Airports Authority.
He said that Kenya will join the list of other countries like Ethiopia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that have been thriving in the aviation industry.
Appearing before the committee chaired by Kiambu Senator Wamatangi Kimani, Macharia argued that once enacted, the Bill would promote governance principles that will promote integrity and transparency and enhance professionalism in the management of the sector.
“The transfer of aviation assets into a holding company framework creates a unique opportunity to adopt best practices benchmarked with solutions already implemented worldwide,” Macharia said.
He added, “The consolidated management of aviation assets will facilitate the seamless roll-out of best-in-class technology and modern organizational solutions. These will position Nairobi to win in the competition of passengers amongst regional airports,” he said.
Macharia however said that the structure will not include the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) as it will remain an independent regulator in line with global aviation standards and best practices.