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Construction of new airport terminal to start on Tuesday

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Part of JKIA in November last year. Passenger capacity at the airport is expected to increase with the construction of a new terminal which President Uhuru Kenyatta will break ground on Tuesday. Photo/FILE

Part of JKIA in November last year. Passenger capacity at the airport is expected to increase with the construction of a new terminal which President Uhuru Kenyatta will break ground on Tuesday. Photo/FILE  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By Griffins Omwenga

Posted  Monday, December 2  2013 at  14:40

In Summary

  • Construction of a new terminal at JKIA will commence after a ground breaking ceremony which will be presided over by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday
  • The work on the Sh55 billion terminal comes barely a week after President Kenyatta started work on the Sh1.2 trillion standard gauge railway that will run from Mombasa to Kigali

Passenger capacity at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is expected to increase with the construction of a new terminal which President Uhuru Kenyatta will break ground on Tuesday.

The work on the Sh55 billion terminal comes barely a week after President Kenyatta started work on the Sh1.2 trillion standard gauge railway that will run from Mombasa to Kigali.

The airport terminal and the railway are expected to be completed by 2017, cementing Kenya’s position as the gateway to eastern Africa.

The two are funded by loans from China on an 85:15 per cent funding with the Kenya Government.

Kenya Airports Authority will meet 15 per cent of the cost for the airport terminal.

“The new terminal will be constructed to increase annual handling capacity by 20 million passengers. Construction begins in December 2013 and will be completed in 2017,” read a statement from the authority.

A committee to monitor the works was set up by Transport Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau, two months ago.

The expansion will increase the airport’s passenger capacity fourfold from 6.5 million passengers a year to 26.5 million, to keep pace with a projected annual passenger traffic growth of 12 per cent.

It is also expected to raise Nairobi as an economic hub for East and Central Africa.

This, government hopes, will maintain Jomo Kenyatta as a key economic driver estimated to be about 10 per cent of Kenya GDP.

“The increase in capacity will unlock the suppressed growth, which will stimulate other sectors of the economy,” the airports authority says in a report justifying the new terminal.

The construction will also come as a boost to Kenya Airways in its plan to implement the ambitious Project Mawingu expansion that will see the national carrier almost triple its current fleet from 41 aircraft to 103 over 10 years.

The airline has complained of lack of parking space for its planes, sometimes hiring Kilimanjaro Airport in Tanzania for parking.

The project has, however, had its share of controversy.

According to the construction planning timetable, the airports authority board of directors approved the Greenfield Terminal Project masterplan after a meeting with then minister for Transport, John Michuki, on March 9, 2011.

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