Forty one new helicopters were registered in 2021, data from a lobby group of private aircraft owners, Aero Club of East Africa (ACEA), has shown.
The aircraft, according to ACEA, were likely acquired by politicians as they prepare for intensive campaign runs ahead of the August General Election.
A total of the aircraft registered was 47 but 41 were choppers, as there has been an apparent demand from politicians who prefer using choppers while conducting political campaigns in the country.
This is an increase from data for the year 2020, where 26 new choppers were registered. ACEA says the numbers were compact due to the travel restrictions aroused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The data further shows that apart from politicians, a growing number of wealthy individuals with the means to own and maintain an aircraft, attributed to the jump in the number of registered planes.
Others are business leaders, large-scale farmers and ranchers based in counties of Narok, Laikipia and Nanyuki.
While Kenya also imports aircraft from European, Western and Asian countries, South Africa is a favorite for politicians, where they get options to either buy or rent for campaigns.
In 2005, Kenya imported 212 helicopters from South Africa and Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA), says that most helicopters in Kenya are from South Africa.
The average cost of hiring a chopper in Kenya is between Ksh.150,000 and Ksh.170,000 per hour for a 3 pax helicopter, with the price going up to Ksh.250,000 for higher-capacity choppers.
In comparison, purchasing one sets the buyer back around Ksh.200 million, exclusive of local registration charges.