As the aviation industry celebrates the International Civil Aviation Day, with the theme, “Advancing Innovation for Global Aviation Development,” Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) has made significant investments, including upgrading its Aeronautical Information Management (AIM) System at a cost of Kshs 198.9 million to ensure the timely flow of Aeronautical Information necessary for the Safety, Regularity and Efficiency of National and International Air Navigation.
The State Corporation responsible for regulating the aviation industry, has also invested Kshs 29.3 million to improve the VHF radio coverage at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, in addition to installing an advanced software at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport’s (JKIA) Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) for integrated Search and Rescue (SAR) Missions at cost of Ksh. 29.8 million. The software installed at the RCC will enable KCAA to conduct continuous distress monitoring and other preventive search and rescue procedures to achieve quick and coordinated missions when the need arises, thereby increasing the chances of saving lives.
KCAA Director General Captain Gilbert M. Kibe, said these investments were made despite the effects of the COVID – 19 pandemic on the aviation industry, to address the challenges in the sector including keeping pace with traffic growth and managing more aircraft in a finite airspace.
“As we celebrate International Civil Aviation Day, being aviators we must have an effective and balanced approach to new aviation innovations, accelerating regulatory processes, while safeguarding traditional needs relating to Regulatory and Policy enforcement, Consumer Protection, together with fair, sustainable Economic and Social Development,” said Captain Kibe.
Adding that, “KCAA is ensuring that it continuously serves Kenyans by introducing efficient ways to enhance and cement safety in the Kenyan aviation sector. In the long – run our objective is to reduce our operational costs, improve productivity, protect the Environment by reducing Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and improve airport accessibility and accommodation of projected traffic growth at airports.”
Other notable investments that KCAA has made this year, to improve Air Traffic Management (ATM) and safety in the aviation industry, include building a new kshs 187.4 million Air Traffic Control (ATC) Tower at Wilson Airport and establishing a Remote Data Recovery Site in Nairobi to ensure continuity of business processes in the event of interruptions at the KCAA headquarters. To cater for the increased use of helicopters in Nairobi and its environs, the Authority developed Visual Flight Rule (VFR) Helicopter routes within Nairobi Control Zone and published them for use by pilots.
When the COVID -19 pandemic hit the world and caused a lockdown and closure of borders, the authority facilitated international and domestic cargo, medical evacuations and emergency flights.
Additionally, KCAA developed protocols in line with ICAO and WHO guidelines for the resumption of domestic flights in July and international flights in August 2020 following the reduction in the number of infections related to the COVID–19 Pandemic in Kenya.