Kenya working on finer details ahead of direct New York flights


The Jomo Kenyatta International Airport has undergone a series of transformation ahead of direct US flights. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Officials from the US security department met Kenya’s aviation regulator last month to confirm that all the safety measures are in place ahead of the scheduled direct flights to New York later in the year.

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) had a session with the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) with the view to ensuring that the measures that were put in place to facilitate direct flights between the two countries are still intact.

KCAA Director General Gilbert Kibe said the officials were impressed with the progress and they have given Kenya a clean bill of health.

“Officials from TSA were here to check our compliance in regard to Category 1 status and they were impressed with the measures that have been put in place,” said Mr Kibe.

This comes at a time when Kenya Airports Authority is waiting for response on some items that the TSA wanted corrected before the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is given the Last Point of Departure (LPD) status.

The first audit was done last year in December but Kenya did not pass the test as there were some measures that needed to be put in place to meet the compliance level.

The KAA told the Business Daily early this year that they had carried out corrective measures as requested by TSA, and that they were waiting for their decision.

Some of the things that the audit focused on include documentation of the processes at the airport, security perimeter at the facility and access control measures enacted by the authority.

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The LPD status will allow Kenya Airways and any other airline that has been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fly directly to the US from Nairobi.

The national carrier received “exemption authority” from the DOT last year, allowing it to commence flights to the United States provided it secures clearance from the FAA and other applicable State agencies.

JKIA was in February last year given Category One status after several audit processes by FAA that had seen Kenya fail to meet a number of reviews, delaying the earlier commencement date of August 2016.

The key item on audit was the security measures that Kenya had implemented to guarantee direct flights between the two countries.

After getting LDP clearance, the last remaining thing will be the granting of Kenya Airways #ticker:KQ or any other airline an Air Operator Certificate by FAA after inspecting the carrier’s equipment and facilities, which is expected to be this month.