New scrutiny for regional airlines

By WALTER MENYA  (email the author)

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Posted Thursday, September 11 2008 at 19:27

A process that will harmonise the rules governing major airlines in East Africa has started.

The East African Community Civil Aviation Safety and Security Oversight Agency is conducting the recertification.

Among the regulations already harmonised is the personal licensing of the crew, according to Kenya Civil Aviation Authority spokesman Mutia Mwandikwa.


"We have harmonised a section that deals with personal licensing of crew members and this is now law in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Rwanda and Burundi are in the process of doing the same," he said.

Other regulations that have been harmonised are those that deal with aircraft airworthiness, aerodrome operations and other security matters.

Mr Mwandikwa said aviation officials from the East African Community were now working on air traffic and transport regulations.

The oversight agency executive director Mtesigwa Maugo said the five-phase exercise, launched on August 19, had taken off commendably.
The first phase involves pre-application, where operators meet with the oversight agency for a comprehensive briefing.

The next four stages are formal application, evaluation of documents, demonstration and approval for operation.

Representatives of all the region's carriers meet the oversight agency and aviation experts in Arusha, Tanzania.

Mr Maugo said that officials from Kenya Airways and East African Safari Express and those from Tanzanian carriers Air Tanzania and Precision Air were in Arusha last week while Uganda's Air Uganda and Eagle Air do so this week.


The re-certification follows the end of a one-year reprieve for airlines to make the necessary adjustments to suit new regional aviation requirements put in place after Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda harmonised air safety regulations.

Plans are under way to include Rwanda and Burundi. which joined EAC last year

Airlines that do not meet the basic standards set by the oversight agencywould be not be certified, Mr Maugo said.

He said that the agency will, however, help such carriers achieve the minimum standards set by the regional body.

Jean-Louis Kayitenkore
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