Aviation survey calls for more air operators

Wednesday January 20 2016

Fly540 staff board a plane during the launch of flights to Vipingo ridge golf resort at Wilson airport on March 18, 2011. The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority has welcomed licensing of more air operators to excite competition that would lead to improved services. PHOTO | PHOEBE OKALL |

Fly540 staff board a plane during the launch of flights to Vipingo ridge golf resort at Wilson airport on March 18, 2011. The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority has welcomed licensing of more air operators to excite competition that would lead to improved services. PHOTO | PHOEBE OKALL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By JAMES KARIUKI
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The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority has welcomed the licensing of more air operators to excite competition that would lead to improved services.

A study sanctioned by the authority says rivalry will create more jobs and also lead to cheaper fares that will boost air transport.

This comes days after Fastjet announced its entry into the Kenya-Tanzania route at a flat rate of Sh8,800, forcing other operators to slice their fares on the same route.

The study said tutors at the East Africa School of Aviation should be audited to ensure quality of training.

The year-long survey, which sought to review aviation, security, safety and regulations (ASSR) standards in 2015, said more practical lessons in engineering courses should be conducted and the school asked to modernise its facilities, among them simulators.

TRAINING EXPANSION

It said Kenya would benefit more if training opportunities for pilots and air engineers at the school are expanded by opening more campuses countrywide.

“There is need to improve communication, library services and buy modern equipment for teaching by aviation training organisations’ management.

ATOs fees and licence fees for engineering and related courses should also be reduced,” it said.

On certification of ATOs, the study said the authority needs to advertise so that Kenyans know the approved aeronautical engineering schools from the poorly equipped and incompetent schools, which could churn out quacks and endanger air safety.

To enhance relevance of students upon graduation, the study called for creation of partnerships with other industry players to provide relevant experience to learners through internship and attachment programmes.

It proposes that upon graduation, students should be issued with ATO certification promptly so that they can offer their services locally and abroad.

The report, prepared by research firm Outlook Solutions Ltd, called for increased lighting of all runways in the country to enhance air safety.