Industry players accuse KACC of sustaining unworthy planes in the air instead of revoking their licenses, they also accused the airlines of blatantly breaking the country’s aviation industry regulations
The operators are flying ‘’deadly bombs’’ that can kill hundreds of passengers at ago,” said a veteran Engineer based at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport
Disturbing turbulence’s have erupted at Aviation House, the headquarters of Kenya’s Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) which has come under heavy attack from a section of airline operators in the county. Sections of operators are asking why the current management at KCAA, the agency mandated by law to plan, develop, manage, regulate and operate a safe, economically sustainable and efficient civil aviation system in Kenya has failed to ground unsound planes from the Kenyan airspace operated by some airlines.
They accuse the agency of sustaining the planes in the air instead of revoking the licenses, they accuse the airlines of blatantly breaking the country’s aviation industry regulations. “This practice by KCAA is putting innocent unsuspecting passengers at great risk because these aircraft can easily crash, explode mid-air, or even collide with other aircraft’s mid-air. The operators are flying ‘’deadly bombs’’ that can kill hundreds of passengers at ago,” said a veteran Engineer based at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
The Engineer who cannot be named because of the sensitivity of the matter said that KCAA has grossly failed in strictly enforcing the rules in terms of inspecting, servicing and enforcing regulatory requirements.
He added that had KCAA been executing its mandate as required by law, many of the planes flying today would have been declared as not airworthy. Most of the planes in question belong to airline operators based at the JKIA; however, most of them are based at Wilson Airport. “Some of these airlines which operate the so-called budget or affordable passenger planes, hardly service their planes as is required. The requirement is that operators must subject their aircraft to thorough servicing before take-offs and after landing,” said the Engineer.
He said that this negligence by KCAA automatically means the agency has failed to strictly adhere to the International Aviation Traffic Association (IATA) mandatory requirements. KCAA has failed to execute its mandate having signed up to adhere to the said requirements. Contacted for comment the KCAA Director General Emile Nguza Arao said that these were very sensitive issues that he could not discuss with anybody on phone or even face to face whether from the media or not because they touch on the security and safety of people.
The situation is so bad that the airline operators have failed to pay for jet fuel to keep the aeroplanes in the air, only surviving on credit, which has seen fuel dealers stop supplying them with jet fuel
Mr Arao said: “Indeed we don’t discuss or talk about such highly sensitive matters with anybody on the phone and even if they are cleared, we have to see the clearance papers first.” The Weekly Vision investigations established that some of the airlines were so broke that they could not afford to carry out basic standard maintenance procedures on their aeroplanes as required by law. Some of the employees both ground and aircrews have not been paid salaries and allowances for months, crippling their working morale, a dangerous combination.
“The crippling low morale and poor working conditions is a mortal danger to many of us who work as aircrews, but also passengers who pay their hard-earned money for air tickets to fly on planes whose airworthiness cannot be guaranteed by anyone,” said the captain at one of the affected airline whose name cannot be divulged because of his security.
The captain said that any airline which does not meet the standard requirements set by IATA and KCAA is not worth being in the air and must be immediately grounded for the safety of not only the crew but passengers. He said the affected airlines have resorted to paying some staff members their dues weekly. The situation is so bad that the airline operators have failed to pay for jet fuel to keep the aeroplanes in the air, only surviving on credit, which has seen fuel dealers stop supplying them with jet fuel.
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