KAA invites bids for flying school at refurbished Kisumu Airport
Posted Wednesday, July 18 2012 at 21:12
Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) is seeking to establish a flying school at the recently upgraded Kisumu International Airport by next year, targeting a growing local demand for pilots.
The agency has invited trainers to tender for the project whose contract is expected to be signed by October.
Increased activity in the aviation industry has seen airlines expanding their business leading to a shortage of pilots.
“Since the premises for the school are already in place, we expect that the selected firm will sort out technicalities and start offering classes by early next year,” said Mr Joseph Okumu, the airport manager.
Most airlines train their pilots in South Africa, an expensive undertaking where the average cost per pilot is estimated to be Sh6 million.
The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) data indicates that Kenya needs at least 2,000 pilots in the next five years.
Kenya Airways (KQ), for instance, needs to recruit an additional 100 pilots to join its current 377 pilots, but this won’t come easy with rival airlines.
Aircraft movements have also increased from 195,000 in 2008 to 335,000 in 2010/2011, a 72 per cent increase mostly attributable to the several new routes being opened by airlines.
The number of aircraft in the country also increased from 757 to 1,056, underpinning the need for specialised pilots and engineers. This has forced KQ to start recruiting 60 expatriate pilots especially for long haul trips.
This comes in the wake of the announcement by Aircraft Leasing Services and Kenya School of Flying that they intend to start a flying school that will issue both Kenyan and European pilot licences.