In Summary
  • “The Civil Aviation Amendment Bill 2015 is being fast-tracked in parliament and it is at the committee stage. We expect it to be read at the beginning of May,” said Mr Macharia.

Kenya’s bid to meet all the conditions set by the United States for approval of direct flights between Nairobi and Washington is set to enter the final stretch with the tabling of the Civil Aviation Amendment Bill 2015 in the House.

Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said the Bill is currently with the House Committee on Transport and that members have given an undertaking to endorse it in the first week of next month.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires Kenya to have passed this law before it accepts the country’s request for direct flights to America.

Mr Macharia said the government will invite the FAA next month for auditing of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) with the State expressing optimism that direct flights will start before the end of May.

“The Civil Aviation Amendment Bill 2015 is being fast-tracked in parliament and it is at the committee stage. We expect it to be read at the beginning of May,” said Mr Macharia.

The Bill, if passed, will take away most of the powers that have been vested on the Cabinet secretary and transfer them to the head of the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) as one of the conditions set by the FAA.

The Bill seeks to give full regulatory powers to the director general of the KCAA while insulating him/her from political interference.

Mr Macharia said most of the requirements set by the International Civil Aviation authority (ICAO) have been met, paving the way for the airport to be upgraded to category one status.

The KAA acting managing director Yatich Kangugo, said the new arrival terminals would boost operational efficiency as well as safety and security, a key requirement for direct flights to the United States.