For Immediate Release

Aviation Stakeholders to Contribute to Industry Policy Formulation 

3rd March 2023 | Nairobi, Kenya: The Kenya Association of Air Operators (KAAO) Executive Committee hosted the Cabinet Secretary State Department of Transport and Roads Hon. Kipchumba Murkomen and Permanent Secretary Mohammed Daghar to deliberate on improving partnership between Government and the private sector. The meeting agreed on the need for industry input in major policy decisions affecting the sector to ensure there is a win-win outcome that supports growth and eliminates challenges bedevilling the industry.

This includes involvement of the association in development of the National Aviation Policy which is set to set the tone for Kenya as an integrated aviation hub to cater for all operators in the region including commercial/private/recreational air operators, approved training organizations (ATOs), approved maintenance organizations (AMOs), hot air balloon operators, and remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) operators.

“The aviation industry has immense potential which, if exhaustively harnessed, will make Kenya an aviation hub and a force in the global market. We particularly recognize the important role the aviation sector plays in the tourism and horticulture sectors hence the need for an all stakeholder led approach in policy making and infrastructure development prioritization,” CS Murkomen said in response to issues raised by KAAO.

KAAO also reiterated that the increasing number of taxes are negatively impacting the aviation sector in Kenya with the country standing out as the only State regionally and globally levying several taxes on aircraft, spare parts and aviation fuel. According to KAAO Chief Executive Officer Liz Aluvanze such measures was making the local industry uncompetitive and unsustainable amid a surge in global and regional competition.

“This has led to a worrying decline in the development and growth of the sector resulting in job losses, migration of maintenance activities to neighbouring states, decline of Kenya as a regional hub and overall decrease in revenue for the operators and government.”

KAAO also proposed that the government should prioritise the development of strategic airports and aerodromes based on demand and revenue generation channels to make them sustainable. The industry lobby group also called for improvement of infrastructure in airports around the country including expansion of runways to ease congestion, new terminal buildings, reconstruction of pavements and aeronautical ground lighting and development of parking silos and business parks. KAAO says this will help secure existing business and enable them to grow further.

“We are glad that we have open communication channels between KAAO and the Government. We purpose to cultivate a symbiotic relationship in order to achieve a safe, efficient, sustainable and economically viable aviation industry,” She added.

Editor’s notes:

Aviation sector overview

  • Kenya’s aviation sector contributes US$1.5bn to the GDP comprising US$740m directly, US$515m through indirect activities down the supply chain and US$294m from employees’ and stakeholders spending.
  • Kenya’s aviation sector employs 26,000 jobs directly, a further 104,000 indirectly and 59,000 more induced.
  • Kenya’s aviation sector’s impact on tourism industry accounts for an extra US$1.6bn contribution to GDP & 336,000 jobs.
  • JKIA is the world’s third largest export hub of cut flowers employing 150,000 Kenyans and contributes to approximately 1% of GDP.
  • Kenya has 440 airports and airfields 18 of which are actively managed by Kenya Airports Authority (KAA).
  • In May 2022 Kenya scored 91.77% after a mandatory ICAO universal security audit, the highest result ever recorded for the region surpassing the target set by ICAO to attain above 90% by 2030.
  • According to IATA Air Connectivity Index Kenya has increased the number of routes and destinations by approx. 70% between 2009 and 2019 compared to South Africa and Ethiopia that grew by 44% and 349% respectively

About Kenya Association of Air Operators

The Kenya Association of Air Operators (KAAO) is a registered National Umbrella body mandated to promote, foster, enhance and protect the interests of those engaged in the Aviation industry and allied businesses in Kenya. KAAO’s mission is to promote and enhance a safe, efficient and sustainable national aviation industry by encouraging adherence and maintenance of high civil aviation safety and practices and prides itself in being the voice for the industry. KAAO represents over 80 percent of all registered air operators in Kenya.

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