Sh29bn World Bank loan eyed for airport modernization

Sh29bn World Bank loan eyed for airport modernization

The Ministry of Transport has entered into talks with the World Bank to secure $285 million (Sh29 billion) for the upgrading of the country’s airports.

The funds under the Kenya Aviation Modernization Project will be channeled through the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA).

In procurement notice in the dailies, KAA said it intends to use the funds to pay for goods services and related services to be procured under the project.

Modernization and expansion of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) passenger terminal is expected to take up a sizable part of the funds once released.

“The project will include improving the passenger terminal capacity of JKIA and institutional strengthening,” KAA said.

JKIA has undergone major upgrade and expansion since 2013, when a morning fire gutted down the old arrival terminal.

KAA plans to boost the airports passenger handling capacity to 20 million a year.

The move to upgrade the passenger terminal capacity comes barely a year after the government canceled plans for the construction of the Greenfields terminal.

The modernization of JKIA and other airports managed by KAA is expected to grow aviation in the country.

The Isiolo International Airport is set to be commissioned by the end of the first quarter.

The World Bank loan will also enable KAA acquire integrated management systems.

“The project will strengthen the aviation oversight capacity by enhancing the management information systems and installation of communication equipment to integrate operations throughout the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority,” KAA said.

The government has been engaging the Federal Aviation Administration to get category one status for JKIA.

Kenya has for over a decade talked of starting direct flights to the US but failure to meet the FAA strict requirements has seen plans stall.

Report by Brenda Nyamichaba

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