The Kenyan government is set to spend Ksh7bn ($69 million) upgrading the country’s second largest airport. The expansion of the Moi International Airport in Mombasa is expected to make the coastal city airport attractive to more international carriers.
Transport cabinet secretary James Macharia on Tuesday said the investment is geared towards enhancing security and adding more features to the airport to allow it accommodate an increasing number of passengers. “It is therefore of paramount importance that we continue to invest in this airport to make sure that it maintains its excellent safety record, and to enhance the efficiency of its operations,” he said while commissioning the project.
The expansion will entail include rehabilitation of the entire runway pavements, reconstruction of some sections of the taxiways and aprons, replacement of precast concrete slabs and installation of an elaborate lighting system.
The Kenyan government has put focus on its aviation sector as it seeks to make the country a hub for the continent. The last upgrade to the airport was made in 1994, with most runways having a lifespan of up to 25 years. The project is funded by the French Development Agency which will be pumping in $65 million while the World Bank will offer additional monetary support of $900,000.
The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) will cover the balance. KAA managing director Jonny Anderson said continued investment to the country’s airport infrastructure would boost passenger numbers The planned rehabilitation will see the airport able to handle an estimated two million passengers – up from the 300,000 handled daily.