Malindi Airport runway extension expected to boost tourism arrivals


(Posted 07th September 2016)

The long expected runway extension project at Malindi Airport is now gaining shape after the Kenya Airport Authority confirmed yesterday that Phase Two of the ongoing upgrading of the airport, worth 5.6 billion Kenya Shillings, is due to go underway in the next financial year.
A major portion of that money will be used to compensate landowners as the airport authority needs to acquire nearly 260 hectares of land to facilitate the runway extension.
Already in use are the new terminal building and present work includes the expansion of the apron to facilitate the parking or more and larger planes in the future, but also the construction of a perimeter fence meeting international aviation guidelines.
Survey work will commence within weeks, it was learned, to ensure the project stays within the timelines provided by KAA.
Both Malindi and Watamu based resorts have for long advocated to see the airport expanded and on completion facilitate the landing of larger planes and in particular attract tourist charter flights from Italy, one of the major source markets in Europe for Malindi. Presently are such flights terminating in Mombasa and tourists then have to endure a three hour transit journey before they reach their resorts. The expanded airport, when complete, will reduce transfer times to Malindi resorts to as little as 15 minutes while Watamu is a mere 30 minutes from the airport.
Earlier in the week did a second major project launch in Malindi when President Kenyatta officiated in a ceremony flagging off construction of the new 110 kms Malindi – Tsavo East road. The present state of the road, in particular during the rainy season, makes access by tourists to the park from their beach resorts often impossible as sections of the road turn into raging rivers and mudbeds.
Construction of this key infrastructure projects is expected to take three years and cost some 4.2 billion Kenya Shillings at current cost.


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