Construction starts on Greenfield Terminal at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport JKIA in 2010The government of Kenya has annnounced that work has started on the construction of a new US$654mn terminal at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi

Upon its completion in 2017, the new Greenfield Terminal will increase the facility's passenger capacity from the current 6.5 million to 20 million.

With an annual passenger growth of 12 per cent, it is expected that by 2020 passenger numbers at the airport will reach 17.1 million and grow to 35.3 million by 2030.

During the ground-breaking ceremony, President Uhuru Kenyatta observed that the expansion of the airport would help Kenya positions itself as a regional hub for East and Central Africa. President Kenyatta instructed the constructors, "This airport should operate on the highest standards. The project should be completed in time and on budget."

The project has been jointly funded by the Kenyan and Chinese governments. Two Chinese companies – Anhui Construction Engineering Group and China National Aero-Technology International Engineering Corporation have been awarded the tender for the project, with work commencing immediately.

The airport has been projected to contribute more than 10 per cent of Kenya's GDP through tourism, horticulture and other sectors.

Transport Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau, said, "The increase in capacity will unlock suppressed growth, which will stimulate other sectors of the economy."

Construction of the new terminal comes at a time when Kenya Airways plans to roll out a 10-year fleet expansion plan from 41 aircraft to 103 aircraft.

In August 2013, a fire caused by an electrical fault swept through the airport gutting its arrivals terminal.

Mwangi Mumero

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