Kenya expands airports and airlines

Domestic_Unit_at_Jomo_Kenyatta_AirportJomo Kenyatta Airport

Managing the rising demand for air services, Kenya has embarked on a major expansion of existing airports and airlines

From the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to those in Kisumu and Mombasa, expansion of terminals and other facilities have been on-going as Kenya's local and international passenger and cargo traffic rises.

Last year, the Kenyan government received a loan of $193mn to double the number of passengers at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA). The money is being used to build a new terminal, parking lot and taxiways.

Jomo Kenyatta, which serves as a hub for East Africa, will be able to handle nine million passengers each year after the expansion - up from the current six million. The funding, including a $6mn grant from the Luxembourgbased European Investment Bank, will also be used to expand an existing terminal and install a new baggage-handling system.

The first phase, which was completed in September 2006 at a cost of $40mn, nearly doubled the number of aircraft-parking bays to 43. Two years ago, the Kenya Airports Authority -the industry regulator- awarded the tender to build the second phase of JKIA to China National Aero-Technology International Engineering Company.

According to Kenya Transport minister Amos Kimunya, the expansion is ongoing and is expected to be finished by the end of 2012. This expansion will also see JKIA boast a new terminal and parking space increased with the construction of a three-storey car park to accommodate 1,500 cars, is expected to cost about $95mn. In Kisumu, the third largest city that sits on the shores of Lake Victoria, the local airport has undergone a major facelift. A joint venture between the Kenyan government and the World Bank, the ongoing expansion of the Kisumu airport will cost $62mn.

 

Mwangi Mumero

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