Wilson Airport in Nairobi
The airport is located near Nairobi central business district. It is the busiest airport in the country and serves majorly domestic cargo and commercials airlines. Most of the airlines serve within Kenya airports and airstrips, though there are some that go beyond the borders to East African countries such as Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda. It is also pivotal in connecting visitors and tourist to various game reserves and national parks in Kenya such as Masaai Mara National Park, Amboseli and Aberdares National Parks among others.
The airport was established in the 1920s and during the First World War; Imperial Airways (which was owned by British) used to own the airports, and used it for the various war activities. Imperial Airways sold the airport to BOAC and by 1929, Wilson Airways Ltd was formed. In 1933, there was need to move the site of the airport to a more strategic location, where it was now and thus construction of dual murram runways began and operations kicked off from the new site.
The airport continued to experience growth and by 1963 when Kenya became independent, it was renamed to Wilson Airport. The airport has rapidly developed since then and handles various operations each day.
My Passion for Airplanes
When I came to Nairobi from the rural to seek to employment, I thought that life would be easy. However, it wasn’t the case and finding a good job became a hectic task despite the fact that I had good academic credentials. Life wasn’t easy for the initial 6 months in which I was looking for a job opportunity and at one point, I opted to head back home.
Things changed in during the sixth months when I was almost giving up. I happened to meet a businessman who hailed in the neighboring town from my home. Our area back home is very fertile and we grow various organic foods and agricultural products. The businessman had ventured in the business of growing and transporting his produce to Mombasa and other areas which didn’t do agriculture extensively due to their climatic conditions.
He offered to employ me to manage the transportation of his produce from his farm and I would take them to Wilson Airport from where they would be airlifted to Mombasa, some parts of the coast and Kakuma.
Working in a Busy Airport
This offered me the opportunity to get to know Wilson Airport. The airport usually handles domestic cargo and also has domestic commercial airlines. Another thing which interested me there was the various flight lessons which that were practiced there.
I was very hardworking person and almost each day I was commuting to and from the rural and Wilson to oversee the loading of his cargo as well as handle other logistics required. This gave me a lot of exposure especially when his business boomed and his cargo multiplied.
I made friends with most of the attendant at the airport and they loved me for my honesty and diligence at work. There were times when my schedule wasn’t much busy and I would be allowed to accompany the cargo to various places and after offloading it, I would still get a free trip back to Nairobi. Being close to the pilots and having a good rapport with them made me always excited about planes and heightened my desires to learn piloting. However, I hadn’t saved enough cash to afford the flight classes.
After about a year and half, I was fortunate enough to also secure a business partner form the coast of Kenya who wanted me to start supplying her with farm produce. When I analyzed the venture and realized how profitable it is, I decided that I would be taking the opportunity. I talked to my employer about it and he was okay with that. He promised that he would help me with some funding so that I could have some capital to operate.
Attending Flight Classes
However, he wanted to continue working for him for sometime before he could secure a good person to take my position. It took me another three months as I handled both his cargo and mine, before he found someone appropriate to handle his operations.
Since, I had immense knowledge about the industry, my business blossomed fast and within no time, I had saved enough to start taking the flight lessons. I was advantaged since I knew most of the staff at the airport and scheduling my classes as well as getting the best trainers wasn’t something hard for me.
I took my initial classes for about 3 months and got licensed to operate a private plane. I do intend to continue with my classes in future, through currently I’m still working to save enough for commercial flight lessons. I also believe that one day I will at a position to own my own private jet.
Aerial views of the Wilson airport
This airport with it’s 2 long runways, is actually incredibly busy.
Just look at how many airplanes are parked on the apron areas in front of the terminal buildings, and in front of the rows of hangars. It’s a traffic jam of planes needing tiedowns and parking.