African Development Bank approves Kshs 16 billion loan for JKIA expansion

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The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $160 million loan (KSh16 billion) for the expansion of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi in a bid to make Nairobi an aviation hub.

The expansion will enhance regional integration and expand international trade via improved regional and international air connectivity in terms of  exports and imports and increase tourist earnings.

In addition, the project will improve airport capacity and resilience for direct intercontinental flights to North America and Australia. This is expected to increase access for Kenyan floricultural produce to new markets.

The project entails the construction of a 4.9km second runway to International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Category Two standards, including connecting taxiways, additional parking stands for aircraft, and an air rescue firefighting unit.

The existing single runway is operating at Category Flights Conditions level one (CAT-1) with a width of 45m and 4.1-kilometre long.

“The second runway will support more air traffic and facilitate increased tourism and business travel and expedite a two-way cargo traffic,” said Amadou Oumarou, Director at AfDB’s Infrastructure, Cities and Urban Development, who worked on the project.

The project is designed to improve reliability of air transport to and from JKIA by reducing delays at peak hours and costly flight diversions arising from incidences on the existing runway, as well as the configuration of the existing single runway that impede the airport’s operational efficiency.