In Summary
  • The Greenfield terminal, which will have a 5.5 kilometre runway, will double JKIA’s handling capacity of about 6.5 million passengers annually. Construction will cost Sh55 billion.

The construction of the proposed Greenfield terminal at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport will finally begin in December.

President Uhuru Kenyatta made the announcement Saturday after touring the new international arrivals section.

“The groundbreaking ceremony for the Greenfields project will be in December. We expect that the project will be fully operational within the next three years,” said Mr Kenyatta.

“Construction of Terminal Four is also expected to be completed by December because we are keen to ensure that our country remains a major hub on the continent,” he said.

“We want to assure airlines and passengers that our operations are back to normal,” he said while thanking all those who assisted the government after the devastating fire last month that destroyed the international arrivals section.

The Greenfield terminal, which will have a 5.5 kilometre runway, will double JKIA’s handling capacity of about 6.5 million passengers annually. Construction will cost Sh55 billion.

The project had been mired in controversy arising from the tendering process. Two months ago, Transport Secretary Michael Kamau disbanded the committee which had been appointed by former Transport minister Amos Kimunya to oversee expansion of the airport.

Boardroom wrangles broke out last December after it emerged that KAA management had awarded the tender for the Greenfield project to two Chinese firms without approval of the board and Mr Kimunya.

Anhui Construction Engineering Group and state-owned China National Aero-Technology International Engineering Corporation were eventually awarded the contracts after clearance by Public Procurement and Oversight Authority.

On Friday, KAA’s acting MD Lucy Mbugua said the newly-converted international arrivals facility will replace the temporary tented terminal set up four weeks ago at the JKIA State Pavilion.

“This international arrivals facility at the JKIA parking garage has the capacity to handle the normal number of international passengers arriving at JKIA daily and will allow us to begin to remove the tents on the airside,” she said.

“We are making arrangements to bring in a new prefabricated airport terminal because we are only using the JKIA garage as a temporary measure for the next four months. We are also accelerating work on Terminal Four so that it is ready for use by end of the year,” Ms Mbugua said.

After Terminal 4 comes into operation, she said, Units 1, 2 and 3 will be reorganised and refurbished in line with earlier plans for JKIA.

KAA also confirmed that the burnt international arrivals terminal will be brought down and a new terminal constructed.

On domestic flights, Ms Mbugua said that work is ongoing to ensure that domestic flight operations are returned to Unit 3 by the end of this month. Currently, the domestic flights are operating from the JKIA cargo terminal.