KAMAU KANIARU / NAIROBI
Kenyan airlines are facing a further period of operation without air operator's certificates (AOC) after the country's transport ministry cancelled a meeting planned earlier this month to issue new AOCs. The newly elected Kenyan parliament is expected to close a civil aviation legislation loophole that has left existing AOCs invalid on a technicality.
All Kenyan airlines have been operating on licences that expired in October, and had expected to receive AOCs from the newly created Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) replacing those granted by its predecessor, the Kenyan Civil Aviation Board (KCAB).
The creation of the KCAA last October annulled KCAB licences and the new body could not issue its own before it appointed a director general and board. Government officials are acting to rectify the shortcomings and a second amendment should be passed by parliament before the end of the month.
Concerns by the US Federal Aviation Administration over the absence of a competent regulator in Kenya delayed the delivery of Kenya Airways' third Boeing 737-700 by a month. It has also prevented the country from achieving a Category 1 FAA international safety assessment.
Its current rating prevents Kenya Airways from codesharing with its shareholder KLM's partner Northwest Airlines on transatlantic services from Amsterdam (Flight International, 22-28 October 2002).
Source: Flight International