The African Development Bank (AfDB) has been selected as the lead financier of the US$612million new airport terminal at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), with construction slated to start January next year according to Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) managing director Lucy Mbugua.
The Greenfield terminal will span 178,000 square meters in size, with a capacity to accommodate 20 million passengers annually. An additional 5.5Km runway will also be constructed to handle larger flights thus increasing the number of aircrafts taking off and landing at the airport at a go.
With annual passenger growth of 12 per cent, it has been projected that the number of passengers at the airport will rise to 17.1 million in 2020 and 35.3 million in 2030.
The process of evaluating the financiers took longer than expected but the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) finally settled on AfDB since they offered favorable terms. The loan agreement is scheduled to be signed in December to pave way for construction works in January 2015. The Governmnet of Kenya will fund 15% of the total construction costs. The new terminal is expected to be ready by 2018.
The new airport terminal project will be executed under a public-private partnership with AfDB working with other financiers in a consortium. It is timely, considering that JKIA has had a 10-year fleet expansion plan from 41 aircraft to 103 aircraft.
As the largest airport in East and Central Africa, JKIA links Kenya to the rest of the world. It contributes over 10 per cent of Kenya’s GDP through tourism, horticulture and other sectors. The government was also undertaking a US$650 million worth of expansion to double its capacity along with a planned rail link.
The government has also been improving infrastructure such as expanding Outer Ring road to a dual carriage, in a bid to facilitate better access to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.