Kenya aviation news – New terminal construction for JKIA attracts interest from around the world

Information received overnight from Nairobi talks of over 100 international and regional construction companies expressing interests in the tender documents available from the Kenya Airports Authority for the re-development of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport into a first class international airport with the capacity to handle an intermediate 9 million passengers a year. Ground breaking is due for early 2012 and the construction of the new terminal and surrounding facilities should be completed within 24 months.
Built in the late 70s and opened officially in 1978, taking over from the old Embakasi airport which now serves as Kenya Airways headoffice and maintenance base, the airport at the time was state of the art but the maximum capacity of only 2.5 million passengers has long been exceeded. Congestion now marks all facilities at the airport as over 6 million travelers are crowded through departure and arrival lounges while the single runway is seen as a major capacity and operational constraint..
National carrier Kenya Airways, set to double its fleet over the next few years, is said to be very keen to see construction of the new terminal and final planning for a second runway completed on the fast track, and there has long been speculation if KQ would not eventually be compelled to build their own integrated terminal where international and domestic departures and arrivals could be handled under one roof without having to change terminals.
International airlines too continue to have a keen eye on flying to Nairobi and especially from the Far and South East there are vast gaps in the route network of direct flights to Nairobi, considering Japan, Australia or Singapore to name just three countries with the potential to uplift passengers and cargo on scheduled flights to Kenya. Other airlines already flying to Nairobi also regularly complain about their working conditions and their problems to add more flights in view of the ever tighter slot regime now in place for Nairobi, and recent power outages and runway blockages have added further pressure on the KCAA to press ahead with the airports modernization and expansion.

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