Kenya Civil Aviation Authority plans freeze on operators at Nairobi, Wilson airports

The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) has announced it is considering instituting a freeze on new operators at Nairobi´s Jomo Kenyatta and Wilson Airports due to the existing infrastructure, the authority said.

KCAA´S board is planning the expansion of the airports before taking on new airlines.

Air operators however said a freeze would slow down the growth of the aviation industry, give unfair advantage to some operators and increase the cost of air transport.

Kenya Association of Air Operators said the move would disadvantage operators, but that the airline industry is built on safety. Wilson Airport is in bad shape, congested and in need of expansion. The airport handles 182,500 landings, takeoffs and training flights annually.

Last year, JKIA recorded 207,831 domestic landings and takeoffs.

Data shows that JKIA is operating at full capacity, handling 7.5 million passengers annually.

The airport handles 41 carriers operating to and from JKIA, all using a single runway, which has been blamed for delays in takeoffs and landing. Parking stands have been increased to accommodate 43 aircraft, up from 23.

Wilson airport has nine designated parking bays. There are also other bays spread in the 33 aircraft hangars. The airport has 350 aircraft movements per day and over 200 air operators.

Every year, the government allocates funding for expanding aviation facilities.