The government will break ground for the construction of a new terminal at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in January next year in the midst of growing competition from the region for the hub status.
The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) chairman, Caleb Kositany, on Sunday, said the State is set to float a tender for the terminal that will increase the capacity of the congested airport.
Mr Kositany was speaking as he received the maiden ASKY Airlines flight to Nairobi from Lome in Togo, making it the first West African airline to make flights to East Africa.
He, however, stated the agency is yet to make projections on the exact cost of the project.
“We will be breaking ground on a new terminal in January next year to boost the capacity of JKIA to handle more passengers,” said Mr Kositany.
JKIA is the hub of national carrier Kenya Airways (KQ), its subsidiary Jambojet and other airlines.
The airport, which is the largest in Kenya, is one of the busiest on the continent.
JKIA was built in 1978 with a capacity to serve more than two million passengers annually.
It has two terminals. But the number of passengers using the airport has risen sharply over the decades, leading to congestion.
JKIA currently serves about nine million passengers annually and this number is expected to grow in the coming years amid increased demand for air travel.
“We will be issuing an open tender soon to build the terminal. It will be most likely a PPP (public-private partnership) project or whatever proposals that we get that will be friendly and help us deliver the project as soon as we can,” said Mr Kositany.