Norwegian Johnny Andersen, is the Kenya Airports Authority managing director- designate.
Mr Andersen will take over from acting MD Yatich Kangugo.
His appointment brings to an end a protracted recruitment process that was characterised by claims of political interference.
Mr Andersen was picked after he trounced five other candidates, including Mr Yatich who emerged a distant fifth in the interviews.
Interview score sheets show that Mr Andersen scored 88 per cent while Mr Yatich, who served as airport manager at western Kenya’s Eldoret Moi International Airport, scored 63 points.
KAA chairman Julius Karangi, while making the announcement, said Mr Andersen is a career aviation expert with more than 21 years’ experience.
“Mr Andersen has wide knowledge and experience in the aviation industry and specifically in running airport hubs across the world. He is a good fit for KAA,” said General (Rtd) Karangi.
A sober mind
The KAA chairman defended the appointment of a foreigner into what is effectively a public office, insisting that what the country needs is a sober mind with hands-on experience in the aviation industry.
He said Mr Andersen had agreed to be paid what his predecessors have been earning.
“I asked him why he wants to leave a well-paying job for this one and he said his interest is not in money, but rather to professionalise the aviation industry in Kenya,” he said.
Mr Andersen is a fellow at the Royal Aeronautical Society in the UK and an accredited instructor at the International Air Transport Association.
He holds a Master’s of Science degree in Air Transport management and a Bachelor’s degree of business administration in logistics. The Kenya Association of Travel Agents (KATA) welcomed the appointment, saying it heralded a new beginning in Kenya’s aviation industry.
The KAA has been without a substantive head for more than a year following the sacking of former managing director Lucy Mbugua over corruption allegations. Efforts to replace her reached a dead end on three occasions.