HomeNewsKenya launches construction of Maasai Mara International Airport project

Kenya launches construction of Maasai Mara International Airport project

The government of Kenya has launched the construction of the Maasai Mara International Airport project aimed to directly connect foreign tourists to the world-famous game reserve.

The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) Managing Director, Alex Gitari broke grounds on the project and said the airport upon completion will be able to handle huge aeroplanes code C aircraft after attaining international airport standards.

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Construction of the Maasai Mara International Airport will take place in three phases with the overall project estimated to cost US $43M. The airport will sit on 44.7-hectare land within the Maasai Mara National Reserve, which was acquired from Manati Limited by the National Land Commission (NLC).

Also Read:Isiolo International Airport in Kenya to begin operations in January 2022

The project will involve construction of a 300 metres and 45 metres width runway, terminal passenger building approximately 4000 square metres, VIP lounge and associated mechanical and electrical works, an apron and fencing. Ongata Works Limited won the tender for the project.

At the end of works, the Maasai Mara International Airport is expected to handle bigger aircraft such as Airbus A320, with 170-180 passenger capacity. Apart from tourism, the airport will also offer investment opportunities for mining and other sectors that are yet to be fully remain untapped. Mr Alex Gitari said the upgrade of the airstrip will promote aviation safety while generating more revenue.

“The airport will open up the Mara Tourism Circuit and hence facilitate the implementation of the Maasai Mara Strategy. It will reduce the environmental impact on off road driving towards the Mara hence low negative impact on forest, wildlife areas and wetlands,” said Mr Gitari.

“Tourism contributes up to 8.8% of the country’s GDP. The industry further contributes about 8.3% of the total employment, which is equivalent to 1.1 million jobs according to the Ministry of Tourism. That is why it is very important to open up the Mara for international arrivals and departures, with all necessary immigration facilitation as a port of entry and exit,” said Narok County Governor Tunai who lauded the development.

 

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Dennis Ayemba
Dennis Ayemba
Country/ Features Editor, Kenya

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