NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 22- The government has announced the appointment of Col (Rtd) Hilary Kioko as the Director-General of the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA).
Transport Minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere said on Wednesday that Col Kioko who replaces long serving DG Chris Kutto will serve for a period of five years effective July 22. Mr Kutto served in that capacity for 11 years until he retired in 2008.
“We received many applications which originated from the neighbouring and even Commonwealth countries. But it is with great pleasure that after a thorough search I have appointed Col Kioko as the Authority’s DG,” he announced.
The new boss has worked as a Defence Liaison Officer in the East African Community Secretariat and the Base Commander in Laikipia Airbase.
KCAA is a parastatal managed by an eleven-man Board of Directors and mandated to regulate the aviation industry in Kenya as well as providing air navigation services within Kenya\’s Flight Information region.
Speaking while making the announcement he maintained that Kenyan skies are still safe despite reports to the contrary.
“Kenya has one of the safest skies in the world and this has been certified by the International Civil Aviation Organisation and the Federal Air Administration of the USA among other interested parties,” he bragged.
Kenya’s vulnerability to terrorist attacks has been cited as the major reason why American carrier Delta Air Lines abruptly postponed its maiden flight to Nairobi last month at the 11th hour.
Mr Mwakwere however expressed his full support for the airline’s decision arguing that security overrides all other concerns for all carriers.
“In the aviation sector, you do not take chances and if there’s anything that you suspect then you take action which include cancellation (of a flight). That happens all over the world. This is not the first instance but it was a decision well taken at the right time and I congratulate those who decided to do so,” he said.
Some of his colleagues such as Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula however protested this cancellation which they said would hurt Kenya’s economic sectors like tourism.