Following the handing over of the Kenya Meat Commission to the military, President Uhuru Kenyatta will issue an Executive Order that will see all State owned aircraft in the country under the management of the Kenya Air Force.
The order, if successfully implemented, will see all crews in all government aircraft report to the Kenya Air Force Commander in the country’s continued steps to control certain operations through the Kenya Defence Forces.
On Tuesday, September 22, Kenya Air Force Commander Major General Francis Ogola and Police Inspector General Hillary Mutyambai toured the Kenya Police air wing hanger at the Wilson Airport, and announced the changes during a meeting with pilots and engineers.
The visit came days after officers from the Kenya Air Force visited the National Police Airwing and other State corporations and bodies which operate helicopters to carry out an assessment of their air assets.
Some of the bodies that the Air Force personnel have visited include the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Kenya Forest Service (KFS), KenGen, Kenya Power and Ketraco (Kenya Electricity Transmission Company).
According to sources who intimated to Citizen TV, all aircraft under those bodies will be managed by the Kenya Air Force.
The highly placed source also stated that all government helicopters and fixed wing planes will be rebranded to Kenya Air Force colours in what is expected to bring about a sense of accountability.
While the planes remain owned by the parastatals, the Executive Order will see the management of crew and travels across the country executed under the oversight of the airforce.
The move represents President Uhuru’s firm belief in the military; a trend that has seen members of the disciplined forces handed key civilian responsibilities in state institutions.
One of the most notable shifts was the appointment of Major General Mohammed Badi to head the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS).
Maj. General Ogola last week met top ranking officials from all State departments that own aircrafts to deliberate on the plans that according to Citizen TV are already at an advanced stage.
The order comes following the loss of KDF helicopters to accidents in Wajir, Machakos and Kulbiyow in Somalia, totalling to losses of over a billion shillings.
In the July accident, an investigation report cited pilot error as the cause of the crash which killed Major Robert Ngombwa and Major Jacob Agunda.
The Kenya Police Airwing, which also bears its own tale of air crashes, has seven operational choppers and two fixed wing aircraft operated by 21 pilots and 39 trainee pilots.
The KWS Airwing has over 40 pilots operating its fleet of 12 light aircraft and three larger aircraft, including a Bell 206 helicopter, C-182, C-180, C-206, C-208, Bell 407 and 4 HUSKYS.
Other than operating a chopper, the Kenya Forest Service also owns a fixed wing Cessna Caravan 14-seater.
Email your news TIPS to email@example.com to get your article published.