Business Jet Ops to Kenya: Aviation Fuel, Security, & Other Ground Services
This is a post by author Victoria Swai. Victoria is a permits officer for Kilimanjaro Aviation Logistics Centre (KALC), a subsidiary of Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc. which is headquartered in Mwanza, Tanzania. Victoria is an expert on permits for the African region and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This business aviation blog post is part of a series on operating in Kenya and continues from our last article: “Business Jet Ops to Kenya: Ground Handling.”
Obtaining fuel at larger airports in Kenya, for either tech or destination stops, is usually a smooth and efficient process for business aircraft operators so long as they have a fuel release and credit has been organized in advance.
The following is an overview of what you need to know:
1. Fuel availability
Fuel is available from a number of suppliers at major airports in Kenya. Fuel services are generally available during the same hours the airport is open. Fuel delivery delays, however, should be anticipated during periods of busy commercial airline activity. Be aware that fuel uplift options are more limited at outlying locations, so it’s always important to confirm fuel and credit availability in advance.
2. Fuel pricing and payment
Fuel in Kenya is priced in USD with local suppliers setting their own prices. Fuel pricing often varies depending on volume uplifted. Payment for fuel at larger airports is usually possible with a fuel release (fuel carnet), credit card, or cash. Your ground handler may be able to arrange credit for fuel uplifts with prior notice. Be aware that not all fuel suppliers accept credit cards. It’s recommended to confirm accepted fuel payment method prior to arrival. In terms of cash, it’s important to ensure that your fuel supplier accept this and to know under what conditions – e.g., certain currency denominations.
3. Fuel releases
It’s recommended to obtain a fuel release in advance and carry a copy of this with you when operating to Kenya. Your fuel release, specifying volume required, should also be forwarded to your local handler and fuel supplier. Have your ground handler follow up to re-confirm all fuel arrangements and that the fuel truck will be available at the time requested.
4. Fueling procedures
If passengers remain on board during fuel uplifts in Kenya, a fire truck must be present. This requires additional coordination, and your handler needs to set this up directly with the airport fire department. To avoid fire truck requirements, passengers will need to be transported to the main terminal during the uplift process. Most operators to Kenya elect to uplift fuel on departure, but other arrangements can be set up.
5. In-flight catering
In-flight caterers are available at all major airports in Kenya. There are also options to obtain catering from hotels and restaurants. Catering arrangements should always be made via your ground handler. When having catering delivered, always ensure that either refrigeration or ice is available at the airport to keep catering cool and within food safety temperature ranges, until it’s boarded onto the aircraft.
6. Local transport
Secure transport is often recommended for passengers/crew members staying in Kenya. It’s best to set up these services well in advance of the day of operation and obtain price quotes. At larger destinations such as Nairobi (HKJK) or Mombasa (HKMO), airport and city center hotels often offer crew transport to/from the airport by hotel shuttle. Major airports in Kenya offer car rental options, as well. Your ground handler will coordinate this and escort you to the rental car pickup area. Rental vehicle options are only recommended if you’re familiar with the area. Road signs are generally clear in the major cities, but in outlying areas road signage is limited to non-existent.
7. Airport security
Airport fencing, patrols, and video surveillance are generally good at major airports in Kenya. Due to recent terrorist and security threats, airport authorities are vigilant about ensuring high standards of airport security. There’s an airport security and police presence at all airports of entry along with adequate airside access controls. Supplemental aircraft security, to guard your aircraft, may be arranged, and armed guards are possible in some cases. It’s best to request these services at least 72 hours in advance. Note that private vehicles are not allowed airside unless you have a VVIP onboard and prior arrangement has been made.
See additional articles: Security Planning for Business Aviation.
8. Airport screening
Security screening is in place for passengers, crew members, and luggage at airports in Kenya. All passengers/crew members go through a metal detector, and luggage is screened by X-ray. To gain access to the ramp, crew members must be in uniform, present crew IDs, and be escorted by the handler. Airside access for vendors such as caterers must be negotiated in advance, and the vendors will need to be escorted to/from the aircraft. In the event you do not set up vendor access clearance early enough, the crew may have to pick up the catering or other supplies to bring this through security themselves.
9. Personal security
While personal security services are normally not necessary for crew while visiting Kenya, these options are available with prior arrangement. General aviation operators to Kenya are advised to obtain current security briefs for the airport, city, and hotel in order to better understand security threats and mitigate risk.
10. Additional reading: Business Aircraft Ops to Kenya – Series Index
Note: Links will be updated as articles are published.
- Part 1 – Airport operations
- Part 2 – Ground handling
- Part 3 – Fuel, security, and additional services
- Part 4 – CIQ
- Part 5 – CIQ, documentation, and tech stops
- Part 6 – Permits and slots
- Part 7 – Flight planning, weather, and NOTAMs
- Part 8 – Hotels and local area
Security considerations for Kenya have become more of a concern lately due to recent terrorist attacks in the country. Operators are advised to work closely with their in-house security department and/or outside security advisors, prior to traveling to Kenya, and to obtain appropriate security briefs prior to travel. Be aware of fuel arrangement requirements and payment options. Also, keep in mind that vendor access to the ramp for items such as in-flight catering need to be made in advance.
Later, we’ll discuss customs, immigration, and quarantine for Kenya and their impact on your trip.