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.
By David Esler firstname.lastname@example.org
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, General Electric, 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.