The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) has moved to recruit safety inspectors in an effort to boost compliance with airworthiness standards following a series of mishaps.
The aviation regulator is set to hire 10 top managers to spearhead regular safety audits on air operators in the country.
They include a head of department for aviation safety and security, a manager for personnel licensing, a manager for aerodromes standards, a manager for airworthiness, an airworthiness inspector, a flights operations inspector and a senior aviation security inspector.
The new personnel will slot into the existing teams, according to the notice by KCAA director-general Gilbert Kibe.
The announcement follows a series of incidents involving at least three planes, that have prompted investigation by the KCAA.
The mishaps involving especially Wilson Airport-based light aircraft have refocused attention on quality of safety audits even as the aviation regulator blamed laxity on legal protection for operators.
The latest incident on October last year involved Safari Link carrying 10 passengers that veered off the Wilson Airport runway as a result of a defective tyre, leading to the closure of the airport for 30 minutes.
The incident, the third to involve planes that operate from Wilson Airport in three weeks, brought to question the safety of the air transport in the country.
Mr Kibe last year acknowledged that the recent mishaps raise to safety concerns.
“But we have to follow the law … we cannot ground the airline just like that or else we could be sued for wrongful grounding,” said the aviation boss.
Under the Civil Aviation Act, the KCAA is supposed “to manage, regulate and operate a safe, secure and efficient air transport system in Kenya.
Under this mandate the KCAA is supposed to undertake regular inspection to determine compliance with the aviation regulations as well as the operator’s own company approved manuals and procedures.