CS Hon. Kipchumba Murkomen, E.G.H. Meets with KAAO and Key Stakeholders at Wilson Airport

4th April 2024 

Nairobi, Kenya

The Kenya Association of Air Operators (KAAO) held its first bi-annual meeting of 2024 with the Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Roads and Transport, Hon. Kipchumba Murkomen, E.G.H. at the Wilson Airport on April 4th, 2024. This high-level meeting provides a forum where issues affecting or have the potential of affecting smooth air operations are discussed and addressed.

During this meeting highlights of ongoing efforts to address critical issues facing Kenya’s aviation industry were discussed. Collaboration between the Ministry of Roads and Transport, KAAO, KCAA, KAA, and other stakeholders was identified as crucial for ensuring the sector’s sustainable growth and development

The key highlight of this meeting was a comprehensive tour of the CS and his team of the Airport, to familiarize themselves and appreciate the unique nature of the airport.  Some of the key areas toured are the proposed silo parking area, the proposed area for the terminal building, runways, aprons, and taxiways.

Key Discussion Points:

  • National Aviation Policy:KAAO emphasized the need for a swift finalization of the National Aviation Policy, citing its importance for industry competitiveness. The Cabinet Secretary confirmed the policy is nearing completion, expected within a month.
  • Wilson Airport Development:KAAO Chairman briefed the CS on the importance of constructing a modern terminal building at Wilson Airport to accommodate the growing number of passengers and cargo movement. Challenges related to ongoing court cases with some current operators occupying designated hangars earmarked for expansion were highlighted as an impediment to development.
  • Extension of Operational Hours at Wilson Airport:The KAAO Chair thanked the CS for accepting the industry’s request to extend operational hours at Wilson Airport.  In their response, KAA reported a lukewarm response from operators It was agreed that operators be given 6 months to reorganize their schedules. It was also pointed out that the extension of hours also allowed more time for operators to perform aircraft maintenance which is a critical element in aviation activities.
  • Derelict Aircraft: The KAAO Chair pointed out the need to decongest the airport by removing derelict aircraft from active areas.However KAA in their response said they have been taken to court by some owners of these aircraft. KAA  MD appealed for the support of the Wilson Airport Business Community to resolve these issues. The CS advised all stakeholders to come up with an internal dispute resolution mechanism to avoid delays in the resolution of such cases when they arise, and KAA to consider having the best legal representation.
  • Infrastructure Development:KAAO advocated for industry involvement in a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model for airport infrastructure development.
  • State of Airports:Discussions covered various airports across Kenya, including JKIA, Wilson, Kabunde, Diani, Lamu, Isiolo, Kapenguria, Kitale, Kakamega, and Migori. Issues like runway maintenance, construction of terminal building, bird strike mitigation, and land encroachment were addressed.
  • Airstrip Fund:The Cabinet Secretary announced the development of an Airstrip Fund to address maintenance challenges faced by smaller airports.
  • Stakeholder Engagement:KAAO stressed the importance of stakeholder engagement during airport development projects and policy formulation processes as they are the end users of the facilities.
  • E-Citizen Platform:The meeting reviewed the E-Citizen platform used for processing aviation-related fees and payments. While advancements were noted, challenges persist with RTGS payments and VAT integration for KES invoices.
  • Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA):The industry raised concerns regarding the implementation of the eTA system, citing its complexity and potential impact on passenger numbers. KAAO will present a paper outlining the challenges and proposing improvements.
  • AAID:The Cabinet Secretary informed the meeting of plans to establish an independent department within the investigative body specifically for aviation accident investigations.
  • Other Issues:Discussions covered unaccompanied baggage at Wilson, powerlines near Migori Airport, resident interference at Suneka Airstrip (currently decommissioned), congestion at Apron 4, hangar space allocation at JKIA, and the lack of a helipad at Wilson Airport.

Next Steps:

  • The Ministry of Roads and Transport will convene a follow-up meeting with all stakeholders at Wilson Airport within the month.
  • KCAA will benchmark legal frameworks for development around airports in other jurisdictions and present a draft by the next industry meeting.

.The meeting concluded with a commitment to continued collaboration. Stakeholders planned follow-up meetings, industry input on policies, and collaboration on legal frameworks for Kenyan airport development. This gathering served as a launchpad for tackling critical issues, paving the way for a sustainable and prosperous future for Kenya’s aviation sector.

The CS requested a follow-up meeting between his office and all stakeholders at Wilson Airport in the course of the month, emphasizing that this forum will provide an opportunity for all stakeholders to voice their concerns and views, and work together to resolve most of the issues affecting them in and around the airport. Collaboration was a key theme across the entire meeting.

As KAAO continues to chart the course for this industry, we invite all who share our vision of excellence and collaboration to join us on this journey. Together, we can build a future where our skies are safer, our businesses more prosperous, and our opportunities boundless. With KAAO as your partner, the sky is truly the limit.


Connect with Us: Your Journey Starts Here

Ready to embark on a journey of discovery, collaboration, and growth? Connect with us today and discover the power of unity in action!

Explore our website at kaao.co.ke to discover the latest news, events, and resources available to our members.

Call us at +254 742 667 856 to speak with a member of our team.

Reach out to us at admin@kaao.co.ke and/or techassist@kaao.co.ke for prompt assistance and information.

Visit our office at the Aero Club of East Africa, Wilson Airport, Nairobi, and experience the warmth of KAAO hospitality firsthand.

If you wish to write to us, do so to P.O. Box 27592 – 00506, Nairobi.

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