- The Standard
The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) has issued directives to politicians flying choppers as the campaign period reaches its peak ahead of the August elections.
Speaking to the media after holding a stakeholder meeting on Friday, February 4, KCAA Director General, Gilbert Kibe, issued a warning over the increase of aircrafts in the country's airspace without following proper protocols, hence posing danger to users, operators, and the public in general.
He added that any slight mistake using the aircrafts may be disastrous to political leaders themselves and even property.Deputy President William Ruto disembarks a plane during a past trip.Daily Nation
The KCAA boss, who spoke in Kisumu, noted that pilots flying politicians need to be cautious on where they are landing the choppers and taking off from.
“A minimum radius of 30 metres from where it lands or takes off should be maintained. No person or object should be within this area,” he stated.
He also instructed the operators to consider members of the public while landing and taking off. Kibe stated that curiosity by individuals may lead to accidents especially where the main rotor blades and rotor tails come in contact with any object.
He also warned members of the public against attempting to hang on choppers while taking off or landing as it may lead to serious bodily harm.
The aviation boss further urged pilots flying political leaders to be cautious of bird strikes which have been on the rise in recent times.
“JKIA reports 22 bird strikes every month, followed by Wajir with 12 while Kisumu has 3 to 6 bird strikes every month,” he stated.
"Other than the birds getting killed, the planes can get badly dented and destroy the engines.”
In further directives, Kibe warned owners and operators of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), also known as drones, to obtain licenses to guide their operations.
Drones owners and operators are supposed to pay Ksh3,000 and an additional fee of Ksh2,000 before flying them.
“Despite having thousands of drones in the country, only 200 drones and a similar number of pilots are registered to operate on our skies.
“KCAA anticipates increased usage of drones within the Western region especially for data collection and research for environmental conservation around the lake basin and other natural resources such forests, survey and mapping as well as academic research,” Kibe noted.
To further enforce the directives, KCAA has called for stakeholders meeting to ensure that safety is observed ahead of the August 9 elections.Kenyans who want to operate drones will have to pay a ksh3000 registration feeFileaccident crash killed
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