The construction of a multi-billion shilling Greenfield Terminal Complex at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) is expected to double Kenya's trade with Africa and rest of the world with its increased handling capacity.
The terminal, which is to be launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta tomorrow at JKIA, the terminal will be able to handle in excess of 20 million passengers annually in line with the Vision 2030 of which it is a flagship project.
According to the Ag. Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat, Director General, Prof Wainaina Gituro, said the commencement of the Greenfield Terminal project is part of an upgrade of Kenya's key infrastructure in line with Vision 2030geared at enhancing the country's competitiveness and boosting the country's position as the regional communication and financial hub.
"The upgrading of the JKIA with the new terminal has been long overdue. World-class infrastructure is a prerequisite for transformative economies. Furthermore fast movement of people and goods in the region and world will lower the cost doing business," said Prof. Wainaina.
The Greenfield terminal, one of the flagship projects embodied in the Vision 2030 to be implemented by the Kenya Airports Authority will typically be built from scratch and delinked from the main JKIA facility and will be the single largest single facility in Africa.
The 178, 000 square meters four level facilities will be at a cost approximated at Ksh. 55.6 billion, and meant to expand JKIA by increasing its capacity of handling passengers by accommodating 20 million more annually from it 6.5million capacity. Included in the project is the construction of eight air bridges for docking the aircrafts, 50 check-in counters of international standards, 45 stands for parking the aircrafts on the linked apron space and an extra runway, access roads and new vehicle parking areas.
Speaking ahead of the launch, Prof. Gituro said the upgrading of Kenya's airports was one of the key initiatives earmarked by the government to transform Kenya into a competitive industrial adding the facility will open up new enable opening up of new trade routes.
"The government remains committed to improving the economic environment for local and foreign investors to do business.At the Vision Delivery Secretariat, we are glad that this project will be taking off despite the hurdles as it offers the country with enormous revenue benefits once complete," Gituro said.
Vision 2030 has identified infrastructure as an enabler of Kenya's transformation. Other than the JKIA expansion and upgrade, other key infrastructure projects include the completed Thika Superhighway, the commenced Standard Gauge Railway line from Mombasa to Malaba and the Greater Nairobi Commuter Rail project.
In addition, the airport expansion project seeks to elevate Kenya to Category One status of the International Civil Aviation Organisation meaning it will comply with high international standards in terms of safety and security.