NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 16 – The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) says it plans to conduct an external assessment of the country’s major airports to establish the number of ground handlers who will be allowed to operate at any of its facilities.
KAA Marketing and Business Development Manager Jimmy Kibati said the measure has been taken to ensure that the standard of security and safety at the airports is not compromised.
“The reason why we decided to carry out this external assessment, which has delayed a little bit because of the procurement but we should be closing it by the end of this year, is to benchmark with industry standards and ensure all the existing operators are licensed, they are meeting their required safety and operational criteria to actually supply fuel or to do ground handling at the airport on the airside,” he said.
Kibati was speaking when he appeared before National Assembly Energy Committee to respond to a petition filed by two leading oil marketers who allege that there are unlicensed operators engaging in the supply of jet fuel.
KAA, which is mandated with providing facilitative infrastructure for aviation services between Kenya and the outside world, said they will be looking to identify a common area for the oil marketers where they will be able to operate from.
This was part of recommendations of an internal security audit carried out last year, which called for the oil marketers to park their bowsers or dispensers in one location and also barred their external movement from the landside to the airside on a frequent basis without legitimate reason.
“We realised that there is a capacity and a capability for all these oil marketers to operate under one fuel firm and they don’t each need have to a depot because the fuel comes from the same source, like at JKIA we have the hydrants so they don’t need those bowsers,” he said as he confirmed that they have not licensed any new oil marketer over the last two years.
He stated that Gulf Energy and Bakri International Energy Company are the only oil marketers who have leased land at the JKIA where their depots are located.
Kibati confirmed that the ASM Kenya Ltd and Pacific are not among oil marketers it has listed to operate in its facilities at JKIA and Wilson.
This came up after Kenya Airways Chief Finance Officer Hellen Mwariri named ASM Kenya Ltd as one of its jet oil suppliers while Fly540 Operations Director said Pacific supply them with jet oil on behalf of Oil Libya.
ERC Director-General Pavel Oimeke last week told the House Committee that Pacific and ASM are not licensed to operate as exporters and wholesalers of the commodity.
However, the energy sector regulator cleared the World Fuel Service and Sky Tanking.
The petition presented by Gulf Energy Chief Operations Officer Pius Omollo and Bakri International Energy Company Aviation Manager Agoi Vedell on behalf of the licenses oil marketers had named ASM and Pacific alongside World Fuel Services and Sky Tanking as illegal importers.
Energy Committee Chairman David Gikaria said urged the KAA to keep raising the standards of security, quality and safety, especially after Kenya Airways, gained direct flight status into New York.