Construction of new JKIA terminal starts
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday presided over the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Greenfield terminal next to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, in Embakasi Nairobi.
Commencement of the project comes at a time another temporary terminal, partly financed by the African Development Bank, is in progress.
The long-delayed launch comes in the wake of legal and political controversies that drew in ministers, former permanent secretaries, the Kenya Airports Authority board and parliament leading to delays in commencement of the construction.
The project expected to cost Sh55.6 billion, probably financed with Chinese cash, will handle 27.5 million passengers annually.
JKIA currently handles 7 million passengers annually although it was built in 1975 to handle less than half that number.
On completion, Greenfield terminal will comprise 50 international check-in counters, eight air bridges for aircraft to dock, 107 aircraft parking stands, 5,900 car park slots and a new runway.
The project is expected to take four years.
Anhui Construction Engineering and China Aero-Technology International Company (Catic) of China are expected to carry out the construction of the project whose contract was disowned by former Transport minister Amos Kimunya and his PSs.
Catic has been a long-term security contractor in Kenya.
The work on the Sh55 billion terminal comes a week after work begun on the Sh1.2 trillion standard gauge railway that will run from Mombasa to Kigali.
The airport terminal and the railway are expected to be completed by 2017, cementing Kenya’s position as the gateway to eastern Africa.
The two are funded by loans from China on an 85:15 per cent funding with the Kenya Government.