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Kisumu airport to get Sh135m cargo shed

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Kisumu International Airport. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The Kisumu International Airport will have a new cargo transit shed within the next six months and hand a boost to fresh produce growers in the western Kenya region.
  • The Sh135million facility will be constructed by the Kenya Airports Authority(KAA) in partnership with ground handling company, Tradewinds Aviation Services Limited.
  • Tradewinds Aviation head of business development and projects Fiona Omondi said the construction will begin soon as Kenya Airports Authority approves the architectural drawings.

The Kisumu International Airport will have a new cargo transit shed within the next six months and hand a boost to fresh produce growers in the western Kenya region.

The Sh135million facility will be constructed by the Kenya Airports Authority(KAA) in partnership with ground handling company, Tradewinds Aviation Services Limited.

Tradewinds Aviation head of business development and projects Fiona Omondi said the construction will begin soon as Kenya Airports Authority approves the architectural drawings.

“We have started discussions with the civil contractor in regards to the civil works required, as for now the processes is yet to be tendered,” she said.

The structure will have a sitting office space for various government agencies within the transit shed.

The shed will have two docking ports for trucks for export, import and perishable goods. The structure will generally be made of steel thus reducing the construction time.

“The steel structure will take six to eight weeks to fabricate. We are capitalising on the rising demand in passenger and cargo air transportation in the region," Ms Omondi said.

Kisumu Airport is strategically located as it is surrounded by a farming community waiting for the right signals to venture into exportsof flowers and vegetables.

Kisumu International Airport manager Selina Gor said the proposed cargo transit shed in Kisumu will also attract the existing farmers from the highlands who currently truck the perishables all the way to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

"Kisumu International Airport is strategically placed in the lake region. We want to turn Kisumu into the 'Singapore' of the region," said Ms Gor.

A cargo facility at the airport will facilitate transportation of goods, open opportunities for growth of export for horticulture and fresh foods from the 14 counties.


“There are also possibilities of the growing Tourism and Fish industry, supported by the strategic positioning of the Kisumu International Airport,” said Ms Gor.

Ms Omondi said Tradewinds Aviation will work in partnership with Kenya Airports Authority and the Kisumu County to market the Airport and destination.

“We are glad to continue being the handler of choice at Kisumu International Airport to Aircraft Operators as the Lake Region opens for business to our neighboring countries in East Africa, which in turn will also create job opportunities for the locals,” she said.

In a recent interview Kisumu Governor Anyang Nyong’o said his government is keen on growing business and investment in Kisumu.

"Kisumu International Airport will be used for cargo handling to facilitate the export fresh produce from Lake Region to the rest of the world," he said.

With the completion of the Kisumu Port and Nakuru-Kisumu meter gauge railway on course, Kisumu is being strategic placed to grow into vibrant international trade hub.

Prof Nyong’o challenged farmers and other investors to consider coming up with products that can be traded in the global markets.

Investors in Bungoma, Busia, Homa Bay, Kakamega, Kisii, Kisumu, Migori, Nyamira, Siaya, Vihiga, Bomet, Trans Nzoia and Kericho counties stand to benefit from the centre.

Fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya CEO Okisegere Ojepat said the private-public partnership will spur export of fresh produce from the Lake Region.

"We are in partnership with KQ, KAA, Fresh Produce Association of Kenya, AFA, KEPHIS and KRA. We will make sure we put more money in the pockets of farmers,” said Mr Ojepat.