A crisis looms at the Wilson Airport as local based companies register frustrations in the transport of Miraa to Somalia.
Wilson, the busiest airport in Africa, is reportedly losing an estimated Sh60 million daily from the lack of proceeds from aircraft that have been grounded at the airport.
The loss may soon result to a loss of 400 jobs directly or indirectly from the transport business if the airport fails to undergo drastic changes in allocation of jobs to flight companies.
The company accused of benefiting from the skewed allocation of flight jobs is a Somalia based company known as Jetways owned by Mohammed Mohammud.
Meanwhile, Bush Air, Rudufu, Bluebird, Buff air, Capital air, Silverstone & Skyward are suffering untold loses from lack of business.
The Director-General of the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) Gilbert Macharia Kibe is allegedly accused of preferring the foreign airline over the local based flight companies in the transport of Miraa to Somalia.
Mr Kibe ambushed air operators on 12 January, 2017 but later came clean dismissing reports that companies were not compliant and even cleared them for flying. He later grounded miraa cargo flights by Capital air the next day but cleared Jetways Airlines.
Mr Kibe is said to use the junior staff at the airport to threaten and intimidate the local companies, as Jetways ferries the highly perishable cargo to Somalia on instructions from Mr Mohammud.
The ‘grounded’ aircraft at Wilson have certificates of airworthiness and also have class A category approvals, a source intimated.
Kahawa Tungu has also learned that the Internal Audit department of KCAA reports administratively to the Director-General and functionally to the Board Audit Committee.
Investors are a worried lot. Should the state of affairs at the airport remain as is, they will run out of business.
The Director-General is also suspected to be an air operator with airplanes hence raising questions about conflict of interest as he continues serving in his current role.
On January 25, he once again cancelled licenses of two airlines which violated permit rules.
The two airlines, he said had been licensed to carry passengers, but had been illegally ferrying cargo without the clearance from the regulator.
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