Kenya: Uhuru Starts Project for JKIA's Sh55 Billion Terminal

JOMO Kenyatta International Airport yesterday broke ground for a new terminal that will have the capacity to handle 20 million passengers every year. And to beat the traffic jam leading to the airport from Mombasa Road and Outerring Road, the new terminal project entails another road connecting from the Eastern bypass.

President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday presided over the ceremony and called on the contractors to meet the 2017 deadline and stick to the Sh55.5 billion budget. “We are taking bold steps to modernise our airports and other aviation infrastructure. Keeping our country competitive is paramount,” Uhuru said.

The terminal will have 60 check-in counters, 10 of which will be for domestic flights. It will also have eight remote gates. The terminal, which is being built by Chinese companies Anhui Civil Engineering Group and China Aero-Technology International Engineering Corporation JV, will have 45 aircraft stands for parking with fuel hydrants, a railway terminal and a bus park among other facilities.

Kenya Airports Authority acting managing director Lucy Mbugua said that unless other countries also expand their airports, this will be the largest terminal in Africa. She said the closest airport terminal in terms of capacity in the region is South Africa’s OR Tambo’s central terminal with a capacity of 12 million passengers, followed by Egypt’s Cairo airport terminal three with a capacity of 11 million and Sham-el Sheikh also in Egypt with 7.5 million.

Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero said the project will upgrade Nairobi into an Aerotropolis – an urban growth planning that places an airport in the centre with small towns and cities growing around it, more like an airport city. “It will be a major commercial centre with hotels and offices within the airport to provide more than 20,000 jobs,” he said.

The new terminal design is the elongated X concept, which is a mix of the pier concept as in the case of Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam and the linear concept like London’s Heathrow Airport.

Unlike the pier plan where one building serves a large number of gates and the linear design which has a long building with airbridges that link the passenger terminal with the aircraft parking area, the elongated X plan has more advantages like making it easy to find check-in points and gates and there is no need for an automated people mover to move passengers from one end to the other.

Deputy President William Ruto and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga said the project will be important in attracting foreign direct investment into Kenya. Special Economic Zones will also be created as part of this project. There will be light industries to manufacture goods to be transported by air.

Uhuru asked KAA to manage the airport commercially and not adopt a nonchalant “business as usual” attitude because JKIA still needs to remain competitive


Posted on : 30 Nov,-0001

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