While the recent crash of Fly SAX plane might later reveal the shortcomings at Wilson Airport, there are fears among operators that as focus stays on Fly SAX / 540, the major criminal activities at the airport will go unnoticed.
Already there is silent outrage and unease among the aviation operators at Wilson Airport as a powerful figures in the government have turned the airport into a playground of rogue elements conducting all manner of illegal activities while risking the country’s airspace.
According to a number of the operators at the airport, most of the flight operators flying to Lamu, Malindi, Northern Kenya and Somalia are not observing rules and regulations on air operations including not properly maintaining their planes, sneaking in goods and passengers without passing allowing the screening by security and customs officials.
Coupled with the above, a number of the operators are going about their activities while interfering with load limits of planes leading to the risk of voiding the planes insurance covers.
Ugly Scenes During the Early Morning Loading of Planes to Coast, North Eastern and Somalia;
The rogue operators led by Blue Bird Aviations, Skyward, Jetways and Silverstone continue to flout aviation regulations by mixing passengers with cargo in some of their flights while also sneaking in passengers and unauthorised goods through the Wilson Airport while bribing airport officials.
According to our sources at the airport, some of the flights operated by Jetways to Somalia carry cargo in the morning with some passengers after which the planes fly into Wilson and are taxied straight to the respective hangar where passengers disembark and are sneaked into the country. The same flights are used to sneak illegal goods through the private gates of the aviation firms’ hangars.
The continued violation of aviation regulations is drawing silent revolt among some of the careful operators at the airport like Air Kenya.
Together with the above, most of the planes operated by the said aviation firms don’t have proper maintenance schedule while most are not insured. This has led to crashes or near crashes in the recent times.
One of the planes in the fleet crashed in Utawala in 2014 leading to the death of 4 people on board. The plane was on its way to Mogadishu.
Other planes without insurance or proper maintenance schedule now operate the Kisumu – Wilson – Mombasa routes, risking the lives of passengers and crews flying in the same.
While the police, NIS, Customs, KCAA and other regulatory and law enforcement bodies are present at the airport, most of them are bribed and look away as the operators flout rules, regulations and risk having the country’s airspace downgraded.
Already, US’s Transportation Service Authority has refused to issue clearance to Kenya Airways to fly the New York route as scheduled while the Ministry of Transport, Interior and country’s security agencies assume that the Americans are not aware of the happenings at the airport.
The long awaited chance to have JKIA as one of US’s last airport of departure now hangs in balance as the criminal cartels continue to run roughshod at the Wilson Airport.
Silverstone, Jetways and Skyward aviation companies are also involved in the stealing of spare parts of planes from other operators. These acts are allegedly committed in the dead of the night while nobody is watching.
An engineer from a rival aviation firm operating was caught stealing parts which he later confessed that he sells to Silverstone Aviation.
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