advertisement
Markets

Airports upgrade takes in Sh6.4bn

The Treasury has allocated Sh6.4 billion to revamp security at JKIA and allow direct US flights as well as facility construction of three new airports in Mandera, Malindi and Kisii.

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) will be allocated Sh1.3 billion to install new security equipment which will enhance airport screening, separation of arrival and departure passengers, clearing of the flight path and fencing of the airport.

This were some of the conditions placed by US authorities before permitting direct US flights to and from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

Commuters will soon have the option of boarding trains to and from JKIA after the government allocated Sh3.5 billion to lay a 6.5-kilometre railway line connecting the airport to Syokimau.

The project was initially expected to begin in July 2013 and be commissioned in December, but allocation indicates that it will begin in the next fiscal year.

advertisement

The government will also upgrade two airports and construct three new at a cost of Sh1.65 billion.

Kisumu Airport and Isiolo Airports are set for an upgrade a move that is expected to enhance the economic development in the area.

The government also plans to build new airports in Mandera, Malindi and Suneka. Currently the country has ten major airports including one in Malindi.

Dilapidated

However, the Malindi airport has been in a dilapidated state with few airlines offering flights to the tourist town. Kenya Airways, no longer flies to the destination.

JKIA has been vulnerable to security threats following a resent explosion at the airports Java House.

The construction of the new terminal, which expected to be ready in June, will offer the separation of arrival and departure passengers while the authorities have demolished buildings obstructing aircraft flight paths with home owners in the Syokimau area being the most affected.

The security upgrade at JKIA will help the facility gain category one status, a condition for the direct US flights.

American based airlines Delta Airways and Fedex have expressed interest to start Kenya operations.

General Service Unit (GSU) will now have a camp adjacent to the JKIA flight path. KAA Managing Director Lucy Mbugua said the GSU camp will provide additional security and act as a rapid response unit in times of emergency.

“We have already identified land for establishment of the GSU camp, police station and administration block,” said Ms Mbugua on Thursday during the handing over of patrol vehicles, office facilities and equipment to the Kenya Airports Police Unit.

“JKIA is currently under full CCTV coverage. Thus will help security agencies in surveillance and intelligence gathering,” added Ms Mbugua.

advertisement