Kenya earmarks $8.7m for Jomo Kenyatta Airport refurbishment

29th January 2021

By: John Muchira

Creamer Media Correspondent


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Kenya intends to invest $8.7-million to refurbish Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in an effort to position the facility as a regional aviation hub.

After abandoning plans to build an ultramodern greenfield terminal and a new runway, the East African nation has opted to upgrade the airport’s two main international terminals to meet the growing increase in passenger traffic and compete with regional airports.

The refurbishment comes at a time when Kenya is in the process of nationalising its loss-making national carrier, Kenya Airways, and neighbouring countries, including Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda, have revived their airlines, thus increasing the level of competition in East Africa’s aviation industry.

Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) says the 12-month airport development project is designed to refurbish the departures halls to improve the check-in, security screening and retail operations, as well as passenger lounge experience.

“The remodelling project is an integral part of the ongoing JKIA customer service improvement plan that was formulated from feedback from our stakeholders and customers,” says KAA acting CEO Alex Gitari.

Once completed, the newly renovated light-filled departures terminals will deliver modern concessions and amenities that will give travellers a friendly and memorable experience.

The facilities will also ease passenger flow and increase efficiency, thanks to the centralisation of security screening procedures and the reallocation of available floor space to international departure gates.

Although JKIA has witnessed a marginal increase in passenger numbers – averaging 11-million a year over the past four years – the airport is facing significant threats from Ethiopia’s Bole International Airport, which currently handles over 20-million passengers a year.

Last year, Ethiopian Airlines unveiled a new terminal at Bole International Airport, pushing its capacity to 22-million passengers a year and making the airport the largest gateway to Africa.

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor



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