Kisumu, Thursday, February 2 2012??The upgraded Kisumu Airport which was opened today will accelerate trade in the East African and Great Lakes region as it will now handle more passengers and cargo.
Speaking after opening the new-look airport, President Mwai Kibaki said the upgrading of Kenya's third largest airport was one of the key initiatives earmarked by his government to transform Kenya into a competitive industrial economy as envisaged in the Vision 2030 national development roadmap. ?My government remains committed to improving the economic environment for investors to do business. The upgraded Kisumu Airport signifies this commitment and is part of ongoing efforts to revamp the national infrastructure to help Kenya realize the Vision 2030,? the president said.
The Head of State further said that upgrading of Kisumu Airport will contribute to lowering the cost of doing business in Kenya and the region. The airport also serves Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and DRC. The upgraded airport will now handle over two million passengers, thus enhancing its capacity to facilitate trade in Kenya and the region. Kisumu Airport currently handles 240,000 passengers annually. The airport upgrading involved building a new terminal building and expanding the runway.
The new terminal building will be able to handle 700 persons per hour which translates to approximately 2 million per annum. Moreover, the airport has now been upgraded to international status and is capable of handling larger aircraft such as Boeing 737, DC9 and Airbus A310.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga who also present at the ceremony hailed the progress made in upgrading the country's infrastructure saying it went to making the country a more competitive economy. ?The upgrading of this (Kisumu) Airport was long overdue considering the important role it plays in Kenya and the region,? said the PM.
Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat Director General, Mugo Kibati, emphasized the crucial role that infrastructure will play in helping the country realize its aspiration to become a competitive, industrial economy in two decades. ?To transform Kenya into a competitive, industrial economy will require modern, world-class infrastructure to facilitate fast movement of people and goods and this will in turn, lower the cost doing business.?
The upgrading of Kisumu Airport is one of the flagship projects embodied in the Vision 2030. The Vision 2030 identifies infrastructure as an enabler of Kenya's transformation. Besides the Kisumu and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport expansion and upgrade, other key infrastructure projects include the Thika Superhighway, the standard gauge railway line from Mombasa to Malaba and the Greater Nairobi Commuter Rail project.
Another key project expected to commence this year is the construction of a new port at Lamu linked to Juba in Southern Sudan by a railway line, a project that is expected to open the vast swathe of northern Kenya.
The Kisumu Airport upgrading is part of efforts by the Kenya Airports Authority to enhance the reliability, safety and efficiency of operations in all airports in the country. Some of these projects are complete while others are at various stages of implementation.
For instance, construction of Terminal 4 passenger apron, taxiways and associated facilities at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport was completed in 2008. It entailed expanding the aircraft parking space from 23 stands to 43 stands and also constructing two more taxiways with the aim of improving capacity and efficiency of airside operation.
Expansion of the Cargo Apron at JKIA was completed in 2009 increasing the number of stands from three to eight. Construction of Terminal 4 building, parking garage, grade parking and associated works at JKIA is ongoing.This will result in increased passenger handling capacity through construction of a new terminal building with a floor area of 21,000 square meters. Also being constructed is a three storey car park to accommodate 2,000 vehicles.
KAA is increasing terminal capacity, renovating and modernizing Units 1, 2, 3 and international arrivals building at the JKIA as well as rehabilitating pavements and enhancing runway capacity. New remote stands will be constructed to accommodate traffic growth.
KAA has also embarked on the development of the new Greenfield Terminal Complex. Once complete, the proposed new airport will be able to handle in excess of 20 million passengers annually in line with the Vision 2030 of which it is a flagship project.
The project will involve the construction of a new terminal building with a total floor area of 178,000 square meters on four levels, 45 aircraft stands, linking taxiways, access roads and new vehicle parking areas. Construction is expected to commence in January 2012 and be completed in 30months i.e. by early 2015.
Other ongoing project includes the construction of a new terminal building with a floor area of 2200 square meters at Malindi airport.This will also involve expanding passenger lounges thus relieving congestion currently experienced at the airport.
For more information kindly contact Veronicah Muchiri on 0722320333 or Anthony Kagoh on 0722 768 138