16 April 2014

Kenya: Building Bonanza to Change Face of JKIA

JOMO Kenyatta International Airport is set for a major facelift in a few years time as various construction projects get underway.

The airport which has over the years undergone a series of touch-ups and renovations is looking to achieve world class status with major construction deals among them the Sh55 billion Greenfield Terminal, a new terminal four, redesign and renovation of terminals one and two and a planned second runway.

Apart from projects by the airport's manager itself- Kenya Airports Authority- some of its tenants are also looking to upgrade in line with the ongoing expansion. This is the largest overhaul that the airport has undergone since it was opened in 1958 at the time being christened the Embakasi Airport.

The Greenfield terminal scheduled to be completed in 2017 will include 60 check in counters whereby 50 will be for international flights and 10 for domestic; 45 aircraft parking slots, lounges, a railway terminal, a bus park and will also have a link road connecting it to the Eastern bypass road thus opening up a new access to JKIA other than the Mombasa Road entrance. Also linked to this project is construction of a second runway though KAA is still looking for funding for this.

"The second runway is still in the pipeline but we are looking for money to do detailed design for the project," said KAA boss Lucy Mbugua last week.

Terminal four which is likely to be ready by August according to KAA will have capacity to handle 2.5 million passengers annually, a car parking with a capacity for 1500 vehicles, 32 check-in counters and lounges, spas as well as restaurants.

An interim terminal has also been set up while the former international arrivals section which was gutted down in a fire incident on August 7 last year will be demolished and a new one set up. Already the world bank has recently approved Sh17.6billion for various infrastructure projects in teh country among them the reconstruction of the destroyed arrivals terminal.

Aside from the World Bank funds, last week APA Insurance paid KAA Sh1.47 as final settlement to compensate the loss of the international arrivals building.

Also, Kenya Civil Aviation Authority which has been a KAA tenant at the airport's existing office blocks said it will construct its own headquarters within the JKIA land.

KCAA last week broke ground on the building works set to be complete in December 2015. The Sh833 million office block will sit on 10,000 square feet of land and will be constructed by Landmark Holdings.

"Since its establishment in 2002, KCAA has been housed by the Kenya Airports Authority, in an office space that has grown smaller and smaller as both Authorities expanded over the years," said Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet secretary Michael Kamau during the groundbreaking event.

In the cargo area, logistics firm Siginon Aviation is setting up a 60,000 tonne capacity cargo terminal at a cost of $10 million.

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