9 July 2014

Kenya: KAA Locks in Sh15 Million Rent Income, Targets Quality Service With 'Airport City'

The Kenya Airports Authority estimates to collect at least Sh15 million in monthly rents from retail outlets that will be leased space at the new passenger terminal at the JKIA.

Ben Mogambi, KAA's general manager for marketing and business development, told The Star that while most of the space will be reserved for airlines, some will be allocated to 12 retail outlets.

The outlets will cater to various passenger needs including food and beverages, financial services and shopping at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

"The operational area takes a greater portion and is reserved for airline check-in desks, customs, immigration and other facilities; all intended for processing passengers in an efficient manner," Mogambi said.

The terminal, named 1A, is designed as an operational facility to address space constraints that the airport has been facing owing to increased business and passenger numbers.

The JKIA was designed to handle 2.5 million passengers annually but is today handling nearly three times at an estimated 6.8 million passengers a year.

"Terminal 1A will have a capacity to handle 2.5 million passengers. This means that it has considerably increased the existing capacity," said Mogambi.

The terminal will be used for international departures and arrivals by national airline Kenya Airways, JKIA's anchor tenant, as well as its partners.

KAA further intends to improve air travellers' satisfaction with the planned 'airport city' in Nairobi. The greenfield terminal will be put up at a cost of Sh55 billion and is set for completion in 2017.

The airport city is designed to handle as many as 30 million passengers a year. It will also benefit residents around Embakasi by bringing essential amenities closer to them.

"The airport city model is an emerging trend in world air travel, where travellers are offered all services within the airport location, thus they will find no need to go to the Central Business District for the same," said Henry Ogoye, head of corporate planning and strategy at KAA.

The greenfield terminal will sit on 178,000 square metres west of the JKIA on the land in Syokimau. When completed, it will hold 50 international and 10 domestic check-in points and 40 gates. Facilities will accommodate larger aircraft such as the A380, the world's largest commercial aircraft.

The terminal is expected to conveniently handle about 3,000 international passengers during peak hours, another 2,000 transiting passengers and 845 domestic passengers.

It has been bench-marked against Asian airports, said to have some of the best aerodromes in the world.

"We are eyeing performance to be as close as possible to aerodromes of Incheon in South Korea, Hong Kong International Airport and Singapore's Changi, which post 99 per cent customer satisfaction," Ogoye said.

Facilities within the terminal will include restaurants, duty-free shops, banks and tourist help-desks check-in desks.

"We want travellers to get their baggage within 15 minutes of disembarking from planes. This can only be made possible through improved network and infrastructure to ferry the baggage from the aircraft direct to the bag collection area," he said.

Presently, it can take up to an hour before a passenger collects luggage at the JKIA as it is manually handled to load on the baggage belts. Some passengers have posted complains of luggage tampering as a result.

The greenfield terminal will be served by a railway terminal for transport into and out of the airport. Buses ferrying passengers to and from the city centre will access the terminal through the Eastern bypass rather than the already congested Mombasa Road.

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