Normality is gradually returning to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport


(Posted 15th September 2013)

‘The tents are going’ announced a regular Nairobi based aviation source yesterday afternoon by email, when delivering the news that KAA has now shifted all international arrivals to the converted Kenya Airways parking garage, which was in record time turned into a secure aviation facility.

Following the fire 6 weeks ago did airport managers and airline managers become creative to find ways and means to process arriving and departing passengers in some level of comfort and while President Kenyatta gave permission to use ‘his’ VIP terminal, next to it did a small tent city rise from the ground to help keep the elements out and travelers reasonably happy.

KAA will also shortly import a pre-fabricated new terminal building which will help in the longer term, over and above Terminal 4, which itself is being pushed towards completion through extra work hours and an additional shift.

Ms. Lucy Mbugua, Acting CEO following her former boss’ unceremonial departure after the fire, had this to say about the new terminal and other plans: ‘We are making arrangements to bring in a new prefabricated airport terminal because we are only using the JKIA garage as a temporary measure for the next four months. We are also accelerating work on Terminal 4 so that it is ready for use by end of the year’. She also at the same time expressed her hope that Terminal 3 will be returned for domestic flights before the end of September, bringing to an end the temporary but cumbersome solution of the cargo terminal, which necessitated extensive transfers for passengers connecting to and from international flights.

In related news it was also learned that when Terminal 4 is opened that the present terminal buildings 1, 2 and 3 will be extensively modernized and refurbished while the burned down arrival section will be demolished and completely re-build to incorporate state of the art fire detection equipment while providing passengers landing in Kenya with an experience second to none in the wider Eastern African region. Meanwhile has President Uhuru Kenyatta visited the airport again to get first hand information on the progress of restoring full services and adding extra facilities, an opportunity he used to reassure the aviation sector that Terminal 4 would be ready by the end of the year and after groundbreaking for the Greenfield Project it will be completed within 3 years. The Greenfield Project includes a second runway, long overdue, and a new mega terminal which will catapult JKIA, named after his late father who commissioned it in 1978, into the 21st century. Watch this space for breaking and regular aviation news from East Africa and the Indian Ocean islands.