Politics and policy
Regulator warns freight station poses threat to airport
Posted Sunday, June 17 2012 at 16:42
The completion of a multi-million shilling container freight station in Mombasa has been cast into doubt after the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) described it as a potential security threat to the Moi International Airport.
KCAA corporate communications manager Mutia Mwandikwa said the authority had not allowed the developer to build the facility.
“Aviation regulations are clear that any construction should not take place near airports. The CFS owner has not been issued with KCAA certificate,” said Mr Mwandikwa.
The CFS under construction is sandwiched between the main Mombasa-Nairobi highway and the old Mombasa-Nairobi Road along the Magogo-Mainland.
It is also less than five metres from the airport’s perimeter fence, just at the beginning of the landing strip. Security officials detailed to man the airport would also face difficulties once the CFS starts storing containers.
Mr Mwandikwa said the construction would compromise the safety of aircraft and contravene international laws governing civil aviation.
The airport which serves the tourist havens of the Kenyan coast was recently rated poorly by a global ranking body due to poor link roads.
The Airports Council International (ACI) ranked the airport at position 147 out of 191, saying it was inefficient and inaccessible.
Mr Mwandikwa said KCAA and other relevant state agencies would enforce laws to ensure all airports were secured considering the prevailing security situation in the country.
The Changamwe District Security Advisory Committee (DCAC) has also objected to the construction of the facility, two garages and continued settlements between Bokole and Mwemba areas.
Changamwe District Commissioner Douglas Mutahi said the committee was concerned about construction of structures near the airport fence.
“We thought when illegal structures were being removed in Nairobi around Wilson Airport; the same would be done here in Mombasa around Moi airport,” he added.
He said his office was ready to provide security during removal of illegal structures built around the airport.
In 2002, there was an aborted attempt to bring down an Israeli airliner that was taking off, the same day the Kikambala Paradise Hotel was bombed and 15 people killed.
A missile was fired from a few metres to where the CFS is being built , but landed at an unpopulated area in Rabai.