The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) is set to begin constructing the KSh3 billion Nakuru airport after settling on a contractor.
The Ksh 3 billion project, located at the 81Tanks Battalion barracks, will see the Lanet Airstrip elevated into a modern international airport, which will be used by civilian aircraft.
According to KAA, the airstrip will be upgraded in two phases in partnership with Nakuru’s county government. Funded by the government, the first phase of the project will consist of a 1.7 km runway, rehabilitation of the existing runway to bitumen standards, erection of a fence, construction of taxiways, a terminal building, a military lounge, air rescue and firefighting building, a power substation, a patrol road, and military and civilian gates.
The second phase will concentrate on expanding the runway from 1.7km to 3.6km, thus ensuring the airport accommodates larger aircraft (approximately 40 to 100 tonnes).
Nakuru banks on the airport, which will open up the region to the world, to bolster its economy through enhanced tourism and more vibrant flower exports.
Nakuru County, which produces close to 70% of Kenya’s flower exports, relies on refrigerated trucks to ferry the produce to Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, more than 100 kilometers away, for export.
On the other hand, Naivasha, being a cargo distribution point, will attract enormous growth of the hospitality industry, housing sector, and transport sector. The upcoming airport will also boost Nakuru’s bid to become a commercial hub in the East Africa region, which is picking steam, with the construction of the Naivasha Inland Container Depot and the planned industrial park.
The new airport, which will hold bigger cargo and passenger planes weighing approximately 40 to 100 tonnes, will majorly facilitate international connectivity and transport.