Rich Kenyans are rushing to clear their aircraft abandoned in various airports across the country after Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) threatened to auction them.
KAA last month issued a 30-day notice to the owners of 101 abandoned planes to claim them failure to which they would be sold to recoup unpaid parking fees accumulated over time.
“The said aircraft will be sold by public auction and the proceeds of the sale shall be defrayed against any incurred charges and the balance, if any, shall remain at the owners’ credit but should there be a shortfall, the owner shall be liable thereof,” KAA acting managing director Alex Gitari said in the notice.
The jets include those owned by wealthy individuals as well as aviation companies among them 748 Air Services, Silverstone, Jetlink, and Fly540. Others belong to State agencies including Kenya Police, Moi University, and Somalia Airforce.
“Disposal of Uncollected Goods Act (Cap. 38) of the laws of Kenya, to the parties appearing on the Schedule herein below to take delivery of the aircraft parked at various airport’s apron/airside areas or any unserviceable aircrafts parked in the airport movement area in absolute contravention of ICAO safety standards.”
“Delivery must be done within thirty (30) days from the date of publication of this notice and upon payment of all outstanding charges and any incidental costs including the cost of publication of this notice, failure to which the said aircraft will be sold by public auction,” the notice added.
KAA told Business Daily that some of the aircraft have been cleared but others are still lying idle at airports, asking owners to claim them before the expiry of the ultimatum.
“KAA says they are still within the 30 days of auction. The exercise is not yet over. Some plane owners have come to clear their aircraft while others have not. It’s work in progress,” said KCAA director-general Gilbert Kibe.
KAA charges Sh2,700 daily parking fees for large planes at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and Sh1,600 for small aircraft, according to Business Daily.
17 out of the 101 planes are parked at JKIA, 64 at Wilson Airport while others are at Moi International Airport in Mombasa and Lokichoggio airstrip.