The city may be exotic, but the flight procedures are reassuringly familiar.
Name & ICAO identifier: Joumo Kenyatta International Airport (HKJK)
Coordinates: 1° 19' 9” S 35° 55' 39” E
Elevation: 5,327 ft.
Runways: 6/24, 13,503 ft. x 147 ft., asphalt (bitumen), PCN: 65FAWT
Noise restrictions: No
FBOs: None, however, several handling agencies are located on the airport.
Clear CIQ at: Passenger terminal; handlers escort passengers and crew entirely through process, which takes 15-25 min. (see text for details).
Parking: Business and general aviation parking at Aprons 1 or 3; parking assigned depending on fueling needs – see text for details. For peak period arrivals, handler will prearrange parking spot with airport operations. Generally there are no issues regarding parking availability for non-airline aircraft, although in most cases, passengers and crew will need to be transported to and from aircraft via van, all arranged in advance by handlers.
Hanagarage:, extremely limited.
Fuel: Jet A1, major brands, no problems with fuel availability.
Credit: Major fuel cards; prearranged carnet.
Maintenance: Kenya Airways maintenance facility on field, however, no dedicated business aircraft maintenance. (With the amount of international airline activity at HKJK, parts can be readily flown in from Europe or South Africa; have local handler negotiate with customs for quick release of parts.)
Lav service: Yes
Catering: Nairobi Airport Services
Fees: Landing, parking, handling, all rated as “reasonable,” e.g., landing: $102-$130 for long-range business jets; handling: $800-$1,000.
Security: Considered good: armed officers, secured areas, detectors and CCTV. Aircraft guards can be arranged through airport security department.
Ground Transportation: All types; have handlers or hotel arrange vetted cars.
Distance and driving time to downtown: 25-40 min., depending on rush periods
Remarks: Ground handling equipment generally available at HKJK except portable air conditioning units. Luxury hotels available in Nairobi proper.
BCA appreciates the assistance it received for this report from Jeppesen flight planning services.
Close your eyes and think: “Nairobi.” What images does that name conjure? An exotic frontier town occupied by a mix of races embracing native, Asian and European cultures? The romantic gateway to East Africa? The Veldt? Safaris? Wondrous animals? Generations of Leakeys uncovering the bones of proto-humans in the nearby Great Rift Valley? Birthplace of humanity?
Nairobi is the portal to all these things — wrapped up in a modern, vibrant, sometimes argumentative (especially during election season) metropolis. Today, it is not only the capital and largest city of the Republic of Kenya, but with a population of 3.1 million people, Nairobi reigns as the largest city in East Africa. Additionally, it serves as the region's financial center and a magnet for business.
The city is host to hundreds of local businesses as well as headquarters for African divisions of many international corporations, including Cisco Systems, Citibank, Coca-Cola, Pfizer,, Visa and Intel. Reflecting the business climate, the Nairobi Stock Exchange is one of the largest and oldest on the African continent. Significantly, too, the African and Middle Eastern headquarters of the United Nations is permanently based in Nairobi.
Not surprisingly, as Kenya's principal city, it serves as a conduit for tourism into the host country's spectacular outback, likewise a major industry for the republic. Thus, Nairobi is a “destination city” for business and private aviation.
Operators heading for Nairobi will find an aviation infrastructure comparable to the U.K.'s, a remnant of Kenya's British Commonwealth (and colonial) heritage when the country was named British East Africa.
Operations are uniformly ICAO Pans Ops, altimetry is familiar QNH (i.e., referenced from MSL) expressed in feet, the country is WGS 84-compliant (so your synthetic vision system should overlay the real world), controllers speak flawless English and RVSM is in effect.
“There is nothing out of the ordinary in terms of operations in Kenya,” Wynand Meyer, Jeppesen's vendor relations manager for East and Southern Africa, told BCA. As at any North American or European airport, there are SIDs and STARs applying to Nairobi's principal airport, Jomo Kenyatta International (HKJK). So adapting to Kenyan airspace should pose no challenges.
Preparation for a flight to Nairobi begins with Kenyan entry requirements. Crewmembers and passengers require visas, but the former do not have to apply for them in advance and may obtain them on arrival. To qualify for this service, crewmembers must be in uniform attire, present official crew IDs, and arrive and leave on private aircraft. Most nationalities qualify for this policy, but there are some that do not — check country AIPs to determine which ones.
Meanwhile, passengers should apply for their visas in advance of the flight. General Declarations will be necessary for all aircraft occupants, and passengers and crew arriving from countries where yellow fever is present must carry valid yellow fever inoculation cards.
Landing permits are required, as well, with the minimum lead time of 72 hr. “We tend to apply for them through a local agent for faster service,” Jeppesen's Meyer said. “Going directly to the Kenyan Civil Aviation Authority is not recommended, as the agency is not always that responsive. On the other hand, they can surprise you and issue one in flight on quick notice, as they did recently for one of our clients.” All this applies to tech stops as well.