June 14, 2007

Kenya eyes new aviation status

Kenya is on course to acquire the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (Icao) and the US Government’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)’s ‘Category One’ status that will allow direct flights from Nairobi to US.

Transport minister, Mr Ali Chirau Mwakwere told an international aviation conference in US, last week, that the requisite programmes aimed at improving safety and security in Kenya’s civil aviation were being implemented.

Already, he said, Kenya has completed the flight safety regulations related to Icao’s Annexes One, Six and Eight, which deal with personnel requirements, rules of the air, and air worthiness. Aviation security (Annex 17) and aerodrome regulations (Annex 14) have also been finalised.

Presenting Kenya’s position in aviation development during the just concluded US - Africa Air Transport Summit in Miami, Florida, the minister urged the American travel consumers to change their perception of Kenya.

He said a regional approach for flight safety and security has been adopted in the East African Community.

‘‘The Community has established a Regional Safety and Security Agency for East Africa. The Executive Director and a Technical Director have already been appointed," he said. Mwakwere said that technical support provided by FAA in development and harmonsation of civil aviation regulations are in place. ‘‘The approach is to ensure the optimum utilisation across the three countries," he said.

"Most of Kenya Civil Aviation Authority inspectors have acquired the basic Government Inspectors Course. The group will boost the technical assistance in the on going inspection of major airports," he said.

‘‘As a country, we are faced with a lot challenges such as retention of trained flight safety inspectors whom after training opt to look for employment outside the region".

Read more of this article's from the source at: news.africast.com

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