The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority has ordered Silverstone Air Services to ground its Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft. This move comes after a series of audits following multiple incidents involving the airline’s fleet.
What is the cause?
Flight Global reports that the regional carrier was forced to suspend operations by the Dash 8 due to compliance reviews within the last three weeks. At the end of last month, a wheel of one of these planes fell off during takeoff. Aircraft registration 5YBWG was scheduled to take passengers from Lodward to Nairobi on October 28 but the inside left wheel became detached.
However, it’s not only the Dash 8 that is causing problems for Silverstone. Earlier in October, a Fokker 50 skidded off of a runway in Nairobi. Furthermore, there were reports that a Fokker 50 hit a light aircraft’s rudder with its wing-tip during taxi in the same month. The combination of these events had led to the inquiry from Kenya’s aviation governing body.
All flights suspended
Despite only the Dash 8s being forced to be grounded, Silverstone has decided to suspend all of its services. This includes those due to be flown on its Fokker 50 and CRJ-100ER aircraft. The airline made this announcement on its Facebook earlier today, combined with a letter requesting impacted customers to contact its reservation team.
“In compliance with the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority – KCAA directive to suspend operations on our Dash 8 fleet, we have temporarily suspended all our scheduled services, the safety of our passengers, crew and aircraft remain our highest priority,” the post read.
Simple Flying reached out to Silverstone to clarify the situation. The airline confirmed that in the interest of passenger safety, it decided to halt the schedule for all of its operations. It also said that it would it will cover the transfer of its customers to a different airline. There is no word yet on when it expects the suspension to be over.
Work to be done
This news follows the announcement of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) asking authorities in Africa to focus on four priorities. These points were made to help to help carriers and organizations in the continent help economic and social development. One of the key points relates to today’s events, which is safety.
The group wants more African states to implement the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) into their safety models, something which Kenya doesn’t apply. Along with this, it wants smaller carriers to become certified under the IATA Standard Safety Assessment (ISSA).
It also has asked more countries to introduce ICAO standards. While Silverstone reviews its safety, it may be keeping an eye on these goals set by the IATA.
What are your thoughts on Silverstone Air’s move to suspend all flights following the grounding of its Dash 8 aircraft? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.