KAA SUMMONED TO PARLIAMENT
Although the Kenya Airport Authority belatedly issued apologies to the general public and the entire aviation fraternity at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, incidentally rejected by a number of airlines as ‘insufficient as long as no compensation is offered’, parliament was even swifter in summoning the KAA management to explain what is going wrong under their jurisdiction.
Repeated outages of power over the last weekend, but notably on several occasions in the past, including an outage of several days at the Mombasa airport, caused airlines to incur heavy losses by diverting flights to other airports in the region and then having to deal with thousands of passengers having missed connections. The damages the various affected airlines suffered are now in the million plus dollar range, considering subsequent delays of other flights, and KAA has remained entirely quiet on this issue of having to pay up for the gross negligence which brought on these problems in the first place.
KAA has been stuck in controversy since the days of the previous CEO George Muhoho when it was under a growing range of allegations vis a vis contract awards, patronage and cronyism and his succession too was under investigation by parliament, only to be thwarted by the hasty appointment of the current CEO Stephen Gichuki by the minister in charge of transport. It therefore comes as no surprise that the parliamentary committee now has finally grabbed the opportunity to get to take KAA to task and sources in Nairobi have suggested that wide spread calls from the aviation fraternity at JKIA to affect immediate personnel changes at the airports authority may well be mirrored by parliament, should the answers provided by Gichuki and his hapless men fail to satisfy MP’s.
In a related development were other, ‘lesser’ airports in the region swift to jump on the bandwagon and point airlines their own way, citing available capacity for flights and passengers in often substantially underutilized facilities, trying to exploit Nairobi’s repeated power failures in recent days.
Watch your back JKIA, your neighbours will be watching.