Kenya Airports Authority’s vision for aviation growth in the region13 October 2017
He’s only been in charge for half a year, but Jonny Andersen’s leadership style is already making an impact. Kenya Airports Authority’s new managing director reveals his vision for building the biggest aviation hub in the region.
Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) managing director believes this is a pivotal time for African aviation. “Africa is rising, and the whole world is looking to it as the next frontier for growth,” says Jonny Andersen. “With its strategic geographical location, Kenya is an ideal gateway into the continent, and a regional aviation hub. I look forward to harnessing this potential to build prosperity for the authority and the country as a whole.
“My focus is to not only provide aviation infrastructure but also to make Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) a business hub. My management philosophy will focus on three principles: people, strategy and execution.”
He points out that his work on infrastructure at KAA will focus on airside and terminal buildings, and aviation equipment at all the airports and airstrips in Kenya.
In terms of revenue, Andersen said he would lobby the Kenyan Government to reduce passenger service charge in order to enable JKIA to compete with other leading airports, reiterating that a reduced passenger tax charge would lead to increased passenger numbers and business growth not only to KAA but also to other stakeholders.
New number one
Andersen joined KAA when it was starting to roll out major expansion and modernisation projects across the country.
“JKIA’s Terminals 1B, 1C and 1D are currently being remodelled, and this will enhance passenger handling capacity and create room for businesses in JKIA,” he said.
KAA is also building a second code-F runway at JKIA that will be able to handle bigger aircraft than the existing one. Once completed, movement of aircraft at the facility is expected to go from 25 to 45 an hour.
Andersen’s confidence is buoyed by the Category One (CAT 1) status recently awarded to JKIA.
“This stands as a historic milestone in the growth and development of civil aviation here in Kenya and in the East African region,” he says. “Airline operators that have long desired to operate directly between Kenya and the US will now have that opportunity.”
CAT 1 status will lead to more market access to the US comprising of normal scheduled passenger and cargo traffic, and courier and chartered flights. Kenya will be able to export textiles, and perishable products like flowers and vegetables, directly to the US and will also have an opportunity to import medical equipment, industrial products, aircraft engines and other products, as well as boost tourism into the country. CAT 1 classification will also enable JKIA to compete with its peers for the US market.
Andersen exuded confidence about the future, saying that, although the journey to new levels of efficiency and growth might be long, the results would be beneficial to the authority, the country and the region as a whole.