, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 28 – The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) is embarking on an ambitious $500 million (approximately Sh45 billion) project to construct a new terminal at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), expected to begin January next year.
The two-year project dubbed the Green Field Terminal is expected to cover 172,000 square meters, which KAA Chairman Martin Wambora said, will serve as a hub terminal for efficient connectivity for transiting passengers.
“We have embarked on a momentous project to expand the capacity of JKIA with the construction of a brand new terminal called the Green Field Terminal, with the capacity of 20 million passengers per annum. On completion JKIA will boast modern facilities and be a superior gateway to Africa,” he said.
The complex, once complete, will feature 50 international check-in positions, 32 contact and eight remote gates, an associated apron with 45 aircraft stands, linking taxiways and a railway terminal.
Handling six million passengers a year, JKIA, built in 1978, is operating well above its capacity of 2.5 million passengers per annum.
Vision 2030 Delivery Board Chairman James Mwangi, said it is crucial to fast-track the pending expansion projects to accommodate incoming airline carriers.
“We now have nine airlines lined up to start using Jomo Kenyatta. As soon as that happens then we become the hub because we will distribute the rest of the passengers using continental routes.” he said.
Already four airlines have committed to begin operations into JKIA including Comair in October 2011, Condor in November 2011, Etihad Airlines in March 2012, and Gulf Air that resumed flights this month.
Vision 2030 Director General Mugo Kibati said expansion and upgrading of JKIA is one of the flagship projects under Vision 2030.
“To transform Kenya into a competitive, industrial economy will require modern, world-class infrastructure to facilitate fast movement of people and goods and lower the cost doing business,” said Mr Kibati.
Other projects currently in the works include a multi-storey parking garage expected to hold 1,500 vehicles as well as the construction of Unit 4 to increase passenger capacity to nine million. Both projects are set for completion in June next year.
In light of the recent power outages at JKIA, the KAA said it will be purchasing more standby generators to add to the four currently servicing the airport. KAA has also acquired a mobile lighting system that will enhance the power supply system to the runway in case of blackouts.