Economy

Year in Review: Work on JKIA terminal slow to get off ground

jkia

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport’s International Arrivals section. Police are holding a 42-year-old man who was allegedly found with two guns at the airport. FILE PHOTO |

Following ground breaking in December last year, work on Jomo Kenyatta International Airport’s new terminal should have begun early this year.
The search for a lead financier, however, took much longer than expected.

Last month, Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) managing director Lucy Mbugua announced that work is expected to start “before end of January 2015”.

This is after the agency signs a loan agreement with the African Development Bank (AfDB).

“Once the loan is approved, we will be in a position to kickstart the main construction,” said Ms Mbugua.

Detailed design and preliminary excavation works were complete and the project will be delivered by 2018 as per the schedule, she said.

The 178,000m2 terminal, to be built at a cost of Sh56.5 billion, will increase JKIA’s capacity from 6.5 million to 20 million passengers per year.

An additional 5.5km runway will also be constructed to handle larger flights and increase the number of aircraft handled at a go.

READ: Construction of second JKIA runway stalls

KAA is expected to finance 15 per cent of the project’s cost through public-private partnerships while the balance will be provided by the government and a syndicate of banks arranged by the African lenders.

Once operational, the new terminal will have 50 check-in counters, eight air bridges for aircraft to dock at, and apron space with 45 parking stands.

The year also saw the agency sign a Sh5.9 billion loan agreement with the French Development Agency (AFD) to fund work on Mombasa’s Moi International Airport.

KAA says it is rehabilitating airside pavements, including airfield ground lighting and upgrade of power and water supply.

“The renovation efforts are geared towards keeping the airport at recommended international aviation standards and practices,” Ms Mbugua said during the signing of the loan agreement.

The loan, which is a credit guarantee, has a grace period of five years and a repayment plan of 20 years. It will attract 4.1 per cent in interest.