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Sh13bn JKIA runway plan gathers speed

Kenya Airports Authority’s plan to build a second runway at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport has gathered speed with the national environment regulator inviting public input on the project before its approval.

In a gazette notice on Friday, the National Environment Management Authority, released the environmental impact assessment report for the 5.5km runway at the airport inviting public opinion.

The second runway, whose construction was to start last year at a cost of Sh13 billion, is expected facilitate direct travels to long haul destinations.

NON-STOP FLIGHTS

It was meant to open non-stop flights between Kenya and United States, but its construction has delayed since June 2013 due to funding hitches.

The runway will comprise a 45-metre pavement and will be 5.5 kilometres long with shoulders, drainage and taxi ways.

It will also be integrated into Terminal 4. Construction work will also involve fencing off the entire eastern edge of the airport to keep off migrating wildlife from the Donyo Sabuk Game Reserve and ranches in Machakos County.

Early this year, the airports authority sought consultants to come up with the design of the second runway.

The watchdog had indicated that it would use part of the loan from African Development Bank to fund improvement of Outering Road and pay for consultancy services of JKIA’s second runway.

UPGRADE

Other developments in the pipeline include the construction of Sh56 billion Greenfield Terminal expected to upgrade JKIA to world-class status.

The terminal, whose completion is scheduled for 2017, is expected to have an annual passenger handling capacity of 20 million. Currently, JKIA has an annual passenger capacity of about 8.5 million.

Kenya has for a while sought the nod from US for direct flights between the two countries.