The Star (Nairobi)

9 April 2014

Kenya: State to Spend Sh1.3 Billion On Airport Security's Upgrade

THE government will set up a building at the airport to house its various security agents and has set aside Sh1.3 busy: A policeman directs traffic at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi.billion for new security equipment for the country's main airport.

Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau said yesterday that the government has already advertised a tender for the upgrade of the security equipment and will also set up a GSU base to patrol the flight path around Jomo Kenya International Airport.

In its plans to increase surveillance across Kenya's airports, the government is not only trying to thwart any terror threats amid increasing risk but also eyeing business by meeting standards that will lead to approval of direct flights between Kenya and the US.

"I am soon going to the US for further discussions, we shall then have a dry run of the airport in May and in June officials from the US will be coming here to assess the facilities," said Kamau yesterday.

Kamau said that with the efforts the government has put in place together with the increased talks for the direct flight to the US, he is hopeful that the flights could be approved before end of the year.

"We want to ensure that the flight path to JKIA is completely secured," Kamau told journalists in Nairobi yesterday after a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Kenya Civil Aviation Authority's headquarters.

KCAA chairman Samuel Poghisio said the authority is facilitating 520 flights and serving over 100 aviation personnel daily, with these numbers expected to double by 2017, hence making its current facilities constrained to provide quality service.

"With so much growth, it is certainly the right time for construction of this new building. This building will provide adequate space for effective and efficient delivery of services to clients," Poghisio said.

The new office block will comprise of a twin tower and will occupy 10,000 square feet of floor space. It is being built by contractor Landmark Holdings at a cost of Sh833 million with expected completion date being December 2015.

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