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New helicopter to boost wildlife conservation operations

Date Published: 28 Sep, 2011
New helicopter to boost wildlife conservation operations

KWS Director, Julius Kipng’etich cuts the tape on the new Bell 407 Helicopter at the KWS Airwing Hangar Offices at Wilson Airport, Nairobi. Looking on is Head of Airwing, Maj (Rtd) Solomon Nyanjui

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has received a major boost in its air operations following the acquisition of a new Bell 407 helicopter. The chopper, with a carrying capacity of seven, is set to further enhance conservation work. The purchase of the helicopter is seen as an important investment expected to generate more revenue in addition to aiding KWS’s air services which include air patrols vital in anti-poaching operations, animal censuses and surveillance, large mammal translocation and client personnel transportation, among others. During the launch of the helicopter, KWS Director Julius Kipng’etich also commissioned a new VIP lounge at the KWS Wilson Airport Hangar offices in Nairobi. Mr Kipng’etich said as part of the organisation’s force modernisation and expansion programme, plans are underway to increase its aircraft in the next few years.

This would see the purchase of an additional caravan aircraft in 2013 and ensure that by 2015, each park should have at least one light aircraft to enhance operations. The Director also challenged staff to come up with a proposal to acquire another hangar at the Wilson Airport aimed at multiplying the airwing’s efficiency and increase its productivity. This would go hand in hand with the training of more engineers, technicians and aircraft personnel at the organisation.Head of Airwing, Maj (Rtd) Solomon Nyanjui, affirmed that the KWS Airwing is a prime model for law enforcement that serves as an example for the rest of the continent in relation to protecting and preserving wildlife.

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