NAIROBI, Kenya, Fen 10- Kenya Airways has been feted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for having safe ground handling operations at both the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi and Mombasa’s Moi International Airport.
The airline is only the first in Africa and 25th in the world to receive the award.
While presenting the certificate to KQ Chief Executive Officer Titus Naikuni, IATA Regional Director for Africa Gaoussou Konate said the recognition, which is Africa’s first, stemmed from the airline’s efforts in implementing efficient and effective management systems as outlined in the IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO).
“By providing the ground services, KQ does it with highest internationally recognised standards,” the director.
Mr Konate said an assessment was carried out at the headquarters to see how the airline’s safety controls are managed both at firm level and at the sites.
ISAGO was developed as a result of the need by airlines, ground service providers, cargo handlers and other industry stakeholders to address ground accidents and the ever-increasingly costs of airline audits.
It aims to bring improvements similar to those of the IATA Operational Safety Audit Program in safety and efficient for both airlines and ground handlers.
Mr Konate said the review process was still on going for 105 airlines that were audited last year adding that the results would be out in a few months. On his part, Mr Naikuni said they had strived to improve safety by following clear cut procedures that have enabled them to cut airline audit costs and reduce ground accidents and injuries.
“Prior to that each individual had their own way of doing things. Now we have a clear documented procedure that has to be followed. Most of the times we have accidents because of deviation from procedures but what we have now with ISAGO is that we don’t have room for you to deviate from procedures,” he explained.
Unsafe operations, he pointed out, led to losses in an organisation. In 2009 for instance, the global aviation industry lost $4 billion due to lack of safety in the ground handling operations.
The ISAGO certificate will be reviewed after every two years, Mr Naikuni said, adding that they would continue to encourage other operators in other countries to attain ISAGO status.