KAA CONTINUES AIRPORT IMPROVEMENT
KAA CONFIRMS THAT LICENCED PILOTS
HAVE UNFETTERED ACCESS TO AIRPORTS
This means that licenced pilots
DO NOT actually require an official KAA Airport Pass to access the airside
of Kenyan airports. However, practically speaking, a "CREW CARD'
issued by the employer of the pilot is a great asset. The Aero Club of
East Africa is now studying the modalities of issuing Crew Cards to those
members, who as 'Private Pilots' do not work for a company and thus do
not get 'Crew Cards'. The proposed ACEA IAOPA-KENYA Crew Card will be
a 'photo ID' .
KAA CONFIRMS THAT PHOTOGRAPHS
CAN BE TAKEN AT WILSON AIRPORT
AVGAS SHORTAGES BITE
KCAA FORGES AHEAD RELENTLESSLY
WITH NEW KENYA CIVIL AVIATION REGULATIONS
This controversial announcement conflicts with the understanding of the Aero Club of East Africa and the Kenya Association of Air Operators, who have been engaged in dialogue about the KCARS with the Ministry of Transport and the KCAA, under the Chairmanship of MoT Under-Secretary Koech. The purpose of that Committee is to address all concerns of the stakeholders regarding the KCARS and to reach consensus with KCAA on a number of grave issues affecting the aviation industry and pilots. Only once these issues have been resolved in this high-level committee was the one-year sensitization period begin. The Committee has not yet presented its work to the Minister, and yesterday's KCAA newspaper announcement effectively makes the Koech Committee's work meaningless.
Aircraft operators and aviators are concerned that there are still many, many proposed rules and regulations in the Draft KCARS that threaten the very survival of aviation in Kenya. Also, in some cases, rules that should be there have simply been ignored or forgotten by the KCAA Drafters. Generally, Stakeholders maintain that the over 1400 pages of rules were drafted by relatively unqualified staff who not only require lessons in grammar and spelling, but also know very little about some of the specialized subject matter of the KCARS. The Draft KCARS, as gazzetted, have also not incorporated the views and recommendation of the air operators and pilots, (i.e. the main target group that is to be "controlled" by the KCAA). Quips one pilot: "All the past talk about partnership between KCAA and the aviators was "******". KCAA is using bulldozer tactics to screw us into the ground. In their quest to make aviation perfectly safe from the unscrupulous operators and incompetent pilots, they are wrapping us all into a bureaucratic maze. The Government would do better to save lives by regulating the matatu industry and improving roads, than to bring the only functioning mode of transport in Kenya, namely aviation, to a standstill". Thousands of people die on Kenya's roads every year, and very few die in aviation accidents. Yet, there seems to be a disproportionately intensive regulatory and enforcement intervention in air transport in Kenya. To wit, the new KCARS propose fines of several million shillings if a pilot forgets to advise KCAA of his change of address. There are hundreds of other bizarre regulations in the KCARS. You can download the KCARS as a PDF File on the KCAA web site www.kcaa.or.ke under the 'Downloads Page'.
Aero Club members are also worried because KCAA staff have little knowledge about ultralight aircraft, parachuting, gliders, Light Sport Aircraft, Ballooning, Agricultural Aviation, Helicopter Lifting, etc. These subjects were discussed and amendments agreed with the KCAA counterparts on the "Koech Committee", but in the final version of the Regulations, the KCAA simply left them out. "They listen politely, but at the end, they simply do whatever they want, or they use that tried and tested method of conflict resolution - keep mum and do nothing".
KCAA drafters of the KCARS maintain that it is not necessary to have knowledge about specialized aviation disciplines and state that they will hire experts in these fields to enforce the rules. That may be so, but stakeholders are concerned that the costs for the convoluted enforcement bureaucracy will have to be borne by operators.
The method chosen by KCAA to introduce the KCARS without seeking consensus with the operators and pilots is not likely to be accepted meekly. It is not clear why the Ministry of Transport formed a Stakeholder-KCAA Committee to review the KCARS and did not let this Committee complete its work.
TAXIING ACCIDENT AT WILSON CONFIRMS
Earlier in 2007, the Aero Club and the KAOAO had submitted a 45 page study and Powerpoint presentation to the KAA, suggesting that the taxiing to the inspection at the Terminal be abolished. Constructive options for security checks were suggested. So far, the KAA has not responded to the document, but a Committee had been set up by KAA to study ways and means of "reducing congestion" at the Terminal.
The practice of taxiing to the Terminal, where boarding and disembarking passengers walk around aircraft with turning propellers, costs air operators collectively some $ 10,000 per day. Air Traffic Controllers are also affected, because they spend a high percentage of their time and attention on monitoring aircraft that are "driving around" needlessly on Wilson Airport.
With the accident, the worst fears of air operators have come true. They have requested a meeting with Managing Director of KAA, George Muhoho, to try and obtain his agreement to waive the taxiing requirement. Air Operators have proven in their studies that only aircraft above an All-up Weight of 5700 kg, and aircraft on regularly-scheduled flights or international flights, should have to taxi to the Terminal for an inspection and for boarding/disembarking of passengers. So far, this international rule has failed to come to the attention of the Kenya Government agencies that have created the mandate.