Silverstone Air planes grounded, two other air operators suspended


Silverstone Air planes grounded, two other air operators suspended
A side by side image of a Silverstone and Safe Air planes. PHOTOS| COURTESY

In Summary

  • The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) has barred seven Silverstone Air planes from operating pending a probe into a series of air incidents involving the airline's fleet.
  • At the same time, KCAA has suspended operating licenses of two air operators -- Safe Air Company (S.A.C.) and Adventures Aloft. SAC exclusively provides air cargo services while Adventures Aloft is a hot air balloon operator.
  • The revelations were made on Tuesday by KCAA Director General Gilbert Kibe while appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on Transport.

The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) has barred seven Silverstone Air planes from operating for the next one week pending a probe into a series of air incidents involving the airline’s fleet.

At the same time, KCAA has suspended operating licenses of two air operators — Safe Air Company (S.A.C.) and Adventures Aloft. SAC exclusively provides air cargo services while Adventures Aloft is a hot air balloon operator.

The revelations were made on Tuesday by KCAA Director General Gilbert Kibe while appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on Transport.

Kibe told the Transport Committee that the ongoing audit is not targeting Silverstone Air alone but also all other air services operators.

“The reason we picked on Silverstone as an example is because they have been involved in an accident in the recent past. It is not the only airline we are conducting surveillance audit on… We are doing that to almost all airlines,” said Kibe.

Silverstone Air came under probe after three of its planes were last month involved in separate incidents one of them being an accident.

In the most recent case, a Silverstone Air plane was forced to make an emergency landing at Eldoret International Airport, after a tyre fell off during take-off.

Barely 24 hours before the tyre incident, a Silverstone aircraft hit and damaged another plane at the Wilson Airport in Nairobi on Sunday morning.

About two weeks before that, the same airline was on the headlines for the wrong reasons after one of its planes skidded off the runway and crash landed shortly after take-off at Wilson Airport.

Meanwhile, the KCAA boss disclosed to the Transport Committee that it has repaired the two runaways at Wilson Airport, which had raised concern from industry operators, due to potholes.

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Story By Edwin Obuya
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