The first phase of the proposed Nakuru International Airport will cost approximately Sh2 billion.
Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) Managing Director Jonny Andersen said this yesterday when he toured the Lanet airstrip, which is located at the 81 Tanks Battalion barracks.
Mr Andersen said that the survey and documentation processes were almost complete, adding that the exact cost for the project would be revealed once the technical specifications were done.
“The cost of the project might go higher or lower depending on the final specifications the engineers will come up with on the designs," he said, adding that this would include the cost of upgrading the airstrip to international standards and construction of a watchtower, among other necessary infrastructure.
The KAA boss was accompanied by officers from the Kenya Air Force and governor Lee Kinyanjui.
Mr Kinyanjui said the project would be a major boost to the county’s agricultural and tourism sectors, which he described as among the most vibrant in the county.
“The airport will facilitate the mobility of domestic and international tourism. It shall be a big win for the horticulture sector, which requires timely movement of exports,” said Kinyanjui.
The governor said his administration would engage residents who would be affected by the project.
The first phase of the project will see the 1.7-kilometre military airstrip, which is currently graveled, upgraded to accommodate heavier and bigger civilian aircraft.
A civilian access gate will also be set up to allow easy access for travellers into the military land.
Andersen could not state when the project would be completed, only saying that the authority was, "committed towards ensuring the airport starts operating the soonest possible".
“Immediately the designs are complete, we shall advertise the tender for the project and have it done within the most reasonable time. This is a dream the KAA shares with the county government and we shall see that it succeeds,” he said.
The MD said phase two of the project would extend 3.1 kilometres outside the military land but could not state how many residents would be affected.