Kenya has received a Ksh480 million European Investment Bank fund towards upgrading and rehabilitation of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) passenger facility. The European Investment Bank agreed in December, 2009 to co-finance the JKIA upgrading project and will provide Ksh7.4 billion. Air transport has become increasingly important to the economy of Kenya, sustaining the tourist industry and the fresh flower and horticulture export markets. “This will provide an efficient transport link that acts as a key building block for strong economic growth in Kenya,” said EIB Vice President Plutarchos Sakellaris.
The current airport was originally designed for an annual capacity of 2.5 million passengers, and presently handles almost double that volume, leading to difficulties in meeting international customer service standards. The grant from the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund will be used to provide technical assistance, capacity building and environmental support for the airport upgrading project. Speaking at a signing ceremony in Nairobi, Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) Managing Director Eng S M Gichuki appreciated the move that will see disruption minimized at the facility during the rehabilitation exercise.
“KAA as an Airport operator must continually develop our country’s aviation infrastructure to not only cope with demand and capacity constraints but serve as a catalyst for the country’s economic prosperity,” said Eng Gichuki.
He added that serving all our customer at world class is a core mandate to the aviation sector. Specialist consultants will coordinate expansion of the existing terminal to ensure minimal disruption to passengers, airlines and airport operations.
Sakellaris added that a successful completion of the project will also ensure minimal inconvenience for passengers thus a benefit for East Africa’s leading transport hub and improve links to the wider world. The technical assistance grant, from the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund, will help ensure a smooth transition of airport operations during the rehabilitation of Terminals 1, 2 and 3 and the arrivals hall, as well as the construction of the new Terminal 4.
The proposed project will increase design capacity to 9.3 million annual passengers and providing improved security that comply with International Civil Aviation Authority ICAO) standards.
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