NAIROBI, Kenya Jun 21 – The Kenya Airports Authority has received a $186 million (Sh14.9 billion) loan for the expansion and upgrading of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).
The grant from the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund will be used to provide technical assistance, capacity building and environmental support for the project.
The loan is a joint effort between the European Investment Bank (EIB) with $93 million and the French Development Agency injecting a similar amount.
The European Investment Bank will also grant a $6 million (Sh480 million) loan for a support programme to minimise disruptions on the second phase of the airport upgrading project.
The grant will help ensure a smooth transition of airport operations during rehabilitation of Terminals One, Two and Three and the arrivals hall as well as the construction of Terminal Four.
Speaking during the signing ceremony on Monday, EIB Vice President Plutarchos Sakellaris said the bank is financing the upgrading of JKIA as part of its wider strategy of investing in key infrastructure projects across Africa.
“This will provide an efficient transport link that acts as a key building block for strong economic growth in Kenya,” he said.
French Development Agency Director Jean-Pierre Marcelli said the agency intends to contribute to Kenya’s economic growth and enhance its competitiveness in the region.
“Successful completion of the project and ensuring minimal inconvenience for passengers will benefit East Africa’s leading transport hub and improve links to the wider world,” he said.
The first phase of JKIA’s expansion focused on extension of the apron to cater for the proposed Terminal Four, a larger aircraft parking space from 200,000 to 300,000 square meters and increased parking bays from 23 to 43.
Phase Two which is expected to cost $95 million will comprise a new terminal with seven new air bridges and a multi-storey car park. Phase Three will involve architectural alterations to existing terminal buildings.
In addition there will be specialised installations for boarding bridges, baggage handling systems, CCTV surveillance system and a facilities management system.
Phase Four – to cost $48 million – will involve rehabilitation of all pavements, upgrading of the Instrument Landing System and additional taxiways to improve on runway capacity.
Once complete, the upgrading projects are expected to increase the airport’s handling capacity from the current five million passengers to 10 million.
The money is, however, not part of the Sh7.4 billion loan that the Kenya Airports Authority has negotiated with EIB for the actual upgrading and rehabilitation works at the country’s premier gateway.