Business Jet Ops to Kenya: Flight Permits & Slots
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 continues from our previous article, entitled “Business Jet Ops to Kenya: CIQ, Documentation & Tech Stops.”
When you apply for Kenyan overflight and landing permits, it’s important to be mindful of lead times as well as specific routing requirements. Currently, airport slots are not prevalent at Kenyan airports. However, airport authorities at Nairobi (HKJK) just recently implemented new slot requirements, and this mandate may extend in future to other Kenyan airports.
If you operate a business aircraft to Kenya, the following is an overview of what you need to know:
1. Landing and overflight permit requirements for Kenya
Permits are needed for both landing and overflight, regardless of the type of flight. They’re applied for via a website where all required documentation is also submitted. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of Kenya processes permit requests during operating hours of Monday-Friday, 0500-1300 UTC, and the office is closed weekends and holidays. Permit processing is not possible after hours, other than for emergency or air ambulance flights.
2. Permit lead times
Official permit lead time is 72 business hours, for both overflight and landing. Permits can normally be processed on shorter notice, usually with a minimum of 24 hours’ notice, so long as all required information/documentation has been submitted.
3. Information/documentation requirements
For overflight permits you’ll need to supply CAA with type of aircraft, Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW), airworthiness and registration certificates, worldwide insurance, pilot license details, and full schedule. Worldwide insurance policies must indicate operator name, tail number, and expiration date. If your airworthiness certificate does not have an expiry date, you’ll need to provide latest maintenance log/certificate or a release to service. For landing permits requirements are the same for charter (non-scheduled commercial) flights, with the exception that full passenger and crew information is required and an air operator certificate must be submitted in addition to the other documents. Note that the type of flight (private non-revenue or charter) must be specified on all permit applications. If the aircraft is coming in for maintenance, you’ll need to provide information and contact details regarding the maintenance facility.
4. Purpose of flight
When requesting landing permits, operators must specify the purpose of flight. It’s best to avoid generic descriptions, such as “business meeting,” and be more specific: for example “meeting with corporate office.” Be mindful that authorities may ask for a local business contact, and this must be provided if requested.
5. Permit processing
When Kenyan permits are processed, all required information/documentation needs to be submitted with the original online request. Kenya’s online system does not allow a permit application to be processed with missing information. While this system stores operator information, all other documentation must be resubmitted with each request. Permit confirmations must be included in section 18 of your International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) flight plan. If not, Air Traffic Control (ATC) will deny your flight plan. Be aware that ATC always checks to ensure routings match what CAA has approved on your permit.
6. Permit validity and revisions
Overflight and landing permits are valid for +72 hours. Be mindful that route information is required for each permit request. If the routing changes for overflight, no permit revision or notification is needed. For any route changes involving landing permits, however, revisions must be submitted. Also, if you add/remove domestic legs within Kenya, permit revisions are required. Blanket overflight and landing permits are possible to obtain for Kenya. Your 3rd-party provider can provide assistance with that if you need it.
7. Permit and nav fees
Kenyan CAA assesses fees for air navigation as well as permit administration. The administration charge is a flat fee while air navigation charges are calculated on distance flown and MTOW. These fees must be paid at the time a permit is requested.
8. Kenyan cabotage considerations
Cabotage is not generally a concern or an issue in Kenya, and there are currently no cabotage regulations in place. If there are any issues or questions with your landing permit in terms of domestic flights, CAA will advise.
9. Airport slot requirements
The only airport in Kenya requiring slots is HKJK. HKJK slot requirements became active in April 2015, as part of a one-year trial phase. Airport authorities will monitor new slot procedures until April 2016 to determine if slots improve traffic flow and alleviate parking issues. It will not be known if other airports in Kenya will implement airport slots until the HKJK test phase has been completed.
10. HKJK slots
Current slot requirements for HKJK apply to all arrivals/departures, regardless of type of flight. An approved slot allows airport authorities to ensure you have a confirmed parking spot. Slots for HKJK are requested from airport authorities by your ground handler, via either e-mail or the online system. A minimum of 48 hours’ advance notification is required for slot requests and should include the following:
- aircraft information and schedule
- time on the ground
- number of passengers embarking/disembarking
- details on any cargo to be loaded/offloaded
When airport slots are approved, no confirmation number is provided, and slot information does not need to be added to your ICAO flight plan. However, ATC will have this information and direct you to your confirmed parking spot.
11. Slot validity and compliance
Slot deviation for HKJK is unknown at this time. If you have changes to your schedule, it’s recommended that you advise your 3rd-party provider and your ground handler. They’ll communicate this to airport authorities, to ensure there are no issues with your revised schedule. At this time no penalties are being imposed for not having a slot or missing a slot, and there are no fees associated with obtaining slots. If you operate to Kenya without a slot, you’ll be permitted to land but will likely experience delays as other aircraft with slots have priority.
12. Information found in the AIP
All requirements for Kenyan overflight/landing permits, as well as for airport slots, are available in the Kenyan Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP). This document is kept up to date with changes/revisions and is available online. Online access, however, involves a subscription and fees.
13. 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
Be aware of the overflight and landing permit requirements for Kenya. Note that without complete requests and documents, permits can’t be requested. For operations to Kenya only, HKJK currently has airport slot requirements, which is part of a trial phase. After the year-long test period, authorities will determine if this program will be extended to other airports in Kenya.
Later, we’ll discuss flight planning, weather, and NOTAMs for Kenya and their impact on your trip.