NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 20 – The Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) has received a clean bill of health on security from the US Department of Homeland Security.
The clearance consequently allays fears that US based airline Delta’s plans to launch a commercial flight from the United States to Kenya through Senegal beginning June may not take place.
In the recent past, some quarters had indicated that the US had raised concern about the security status of the facility, raising doubts whether the airline would launch the inaugural flight.
“The US Department of Homeland Security has issued a preliminary audit report, which certifies that civil aviation operations in Kenya comply with the highest international standards,” a statement from Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) read in part on Monday.
An audit team from Homeland was in the country on Tuesday February 14 to Friday April 17 to conduct security and operations checks at the facility.
Head of the audit team of Transport Security Administration Division (TSA) Kent Hoefle said he was satisfied with security measures at the airport especially in access control, screening, cargo handling, catering and ground handling.
“The official security audit report will be submitted formally by the US embassy to the government of Kenya in one and a half months time,” the KAA statement further indicated.
The airline has previously indicated that it is introducing new international routes between the United States Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East, to protect itself from a slowing US economy.
The new four-time weekly flight will be the only direct service to the United States from Kenya.
The new flight will provide connections between Kenya and Senegal through Nairobi, where passengers can connect to other East African cities such as Mombasa, Kigali, Entebbe and Dar es Salaam through Kenya Airways.
Delta will be the only carrier operating service between North, East, South and West Africa and the United States, and will operate from nine cities in seven African nations.
The airline currently operates flights from Cairo, Accra, Dakar, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Lagos.