- KAA has warned that the aircraft are a safety risk and will face the auction hammer in the next one month.
- Most of the planes on the auction list are the type used by business tycoons and politicians for short flights, while others are commercial aircraft.
- Some of the aircraft have been abandoned by their owners for more than ten years and have since accumulated charges to the tune of millions of shillings.
The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) has issued a public notice that fifteen luxurious aircraft worth millions of shillings currently parked at the Wilson Airport may be auctioned soon after they were abandoned by their owners.
KAA, which is in charge of operations, safety and security at all Kenyan airports, has warned that the aircraft are a safety risk and will face the auction hammer in the next one month to offset the rising parking and landing fees arrears if their owners don’t come and claim them as well as clear off all the outstanding parking fees.
Wilson Airport insiders say some of the aircraft have been abandoned by their owners for more than ten years and have since accumulated charges to the tune of millions of shillings.
Most of the planes on the auction list are the type used by business tycoons and politicians for short flights, while others are commercial aircraft.
"The aircraft must be removed within 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 aircrafts will be sold by public auction and proceeds of sale shall be defrayed against any incurred charges and the balance if any shall remain at the owner’s credit but should there be a shortfall, the owner shall be liable thereof," reads the Kenya Gazette notice.
One such aircraft facing auctioning is a Dutch model F27, that has a wingspan of up to 29 metres and can carry up to 55 passengers, including three crew members. The abandoned aircraft is owned by a local commercial carrier and is registered as 5X-FFD, which is a Ugandan registration number series. Kenyan aircraft are usually registered with the initials 5Y.
Other smaller models including the HS 748, a medium-sized turboprop airliner, and Beechcraft Baron (BE200 and BE)90 belonging to Canadian Operator Knight Aviation are also listed in the notice. Regional carrier Phoenix Air, IAP Group Australia and Superior Aviation companies are also listed as being owners of one aircraft each.
The small planes are mainly used for chattered short flights by the rich.
While some are said to be in serviceable condition, others are only worth their scrap metal after years of inactivity and theft of parts.
KAA did not, however, disclose the fees and penalties owed by the airlines. There are about 100 helicopters in Kenya, most of which are used during elections when politicians traverse the country while hunting for votes.
It costs up to Sh170,000 ($1700) per hour to lease a light plane. Owning, operating and maintaining one is therefore not for individuals with shallow pockets.