Polish Contractors has started the construction of a new air traffic control tower worth Sh300 million at the Kisumu International Airport.
Despite undergoing major upgrading over the years and being ranked the third busiest airport in the country, the airport still relies on an old air control tower constructed in the 1970s.
With a modern air control tower, the airport is expected to claim its space in the Kenyan aviation industry, having registered increased airline departures and arrivals.
Kenya Civil Aviation Authority Chairman Brown Ondego welcomed the development as a shot in the arm for the facility serving domestic and international air traffic.
“The modern air traffic control tower will also improve visibility of the extended runway both for visual and instrument landings and take-offs as well as apron aircraft movements in the aerodrome,” he said.
Mr Ondego added that developments in the aviation industry were a plus in the transportation network.
Polish Contractors Company Limited won the tender to construct the new air control tower, which will also house the airport’s operational staff.
The project is expected to be completed within 12 months, with an official launch scheduled for September 2024.
Kenya Airport Authority western region manager Selina Gor said Kisumu has grown as an air traffic hub with aircraft departures and arrivals reaching 12,080 in 2022.
"The development of the Kisumu International Airport will contribute to the national effort to improve Western Kenya and make the region a major player in the economic growth of the country," said Ms Gor.
According to Ms Gor, Kisumu International Airport currently has an average of 1677 passengers daily with 40 aircraft moving in and out of the airport.
"As an international airport, there are certain expectations that need to be implemented in terms of facilities. With the new control tower we are able to keep to the standard of the other international airports in Kenya like JKIA and Moi International Airport," she said.
Currently, the airport handles domestic flights operated by Kenya Airways, Jambojet, Air Renegade, Air Kenya and Safarilink Aviation.
Likewise, the facility is also capable of handling international flights destined for Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Egypt and South Africa.
Also read: KQ eyes more cargo flight for Kisumu route
Kisumu International Airport is one of the oldest airports in East Africa, where the amphibian generation of aircraft landed in the 1930s.