(Posted 23rd October 2022)
Reports are emerging from Kenya that the new government, in yet another major departure from the policies of the previous government, is eyeing a revival of the expansion of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, the country’s main gateway to Africa and the world.
After presiding over an expensive launch party in May 2014 did former President Kenyatta not long afterwards cause the (then) 56 billion Kenya Shilling project to be abruptly cancelled, after the contractor was already paid over 4 billion Kenya Shillings. This case went to international arbitration where the Chinese contractor is seeking 17.6 billion Kenya Shillings in compensation.
Cabinet Secretary nominee for Roads, Transport and Public Works, Mr. Kipchumba Murkomen, had indicated during his confirmation hearing that he would seek to bring the project back and negotiate with the Chinese company with the aim to bring the arbitration process to an end and have work resume.
Nairobi’s JKIA, despite the volume of traffic and being Kenya’s main aviation hub, remains a single runway airport and any incidents bring traffic to a complete standstill with incoming flights having to divert and outbound flights being delayed on the ground. The second runway was initially thought to become operational in 2018.
Meanwhile has Rwanda gone ahead with the construction of a new airport in Bugesera with major financial input from Qatar and Ethiopia is eyeing the construction of a new airport with a capacity of 100 million passengers while only recently making major additions to the existing Bole International Airport.
Dar es Salaam too has seen a major expansion of JNIA with the construction of a new international terminal.