#Kenya’s Transport Secretary gets evil eye from airlines over second runway comments


(Posted 25th July 2018)

The response by Kenya’s Transport Secretary about the need for a second runway at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport has been described as feeble and particularly badly uninformed by aviation representatives after Mr. Macharia had to admit that there was still an evaluation process going on if a second runway was in fact needed.
Earlier on had the aviation grapevine overheated from rumours that the project, like Project Greenfield, had been canceled for lack of money, sending the aviation scene into a combined fit of anger.
Every time something happens on that runway are our incoming flights diverted and our departures delayed. These people just do not appreciate how costly that is. That is in addition to runway capacity issues at certain times of the day when it is now difficult to get a slot to land and take off. Some international airlines which have looked at Nairobi have in fact put their plans on ice until after a second runway has been completed. Aviation is an industry for the future and infrastructure on the ground is crucial, IATA has been saying this time and again. The building and upgrading of airports in the region will only create a gap in their favour and at the expense of Nairobi. When Project Greenfield was canceled in favour of that ‘temporary terminal’ it already raised a lot of question over the commitment of the Kenyan government towards improving aviation infrastructure. That ‘temporary terminal’ will still be there in 20 years, you just wait and see and the way Ethiopia has been going of late and the way Ethiopian Airlines has expanded AND made money, unlike our lot here, when their new airport opens will Nairobi and Kenya pale in comparison, mark my words‘ let a regular aviation source from Kenya fly. Other echoed similar sentiments when asked to comment about suggestions that the second runway project would be scrapped.
CS Macharia pleaded for six more weeks of time to let the review of the project go ahead and be concluded but was not able or willing to give a categorical yes or no response whether the JKIA’s second runway would or would not be built.
Earlier in the month was Macharia also embroiled in the ongoing controversy over alleged institutional racism by the SGR railway operators when a series of pictures emerged in the public domain from disillusioned staff.