Ukunda airport to start night operations once upgrade is complete

KAA General Manager for projects and engineering, Fred Odawo. [Caleb Kingwara, standard]

Upgrade works at the Ukunda aerodrome which will be renamed Diani Airport will enable it to handle night flights.

The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) said it is seeking Sh2.3 billion for the upgrade of the airport.

Speaking during an inspection tour of the facility on Friday, KAA General Manager Projects and Engineering Fred Adawo said upon completion of the airport upgrade works, "we envisage a situation where we can start night operations".

Adawo said they will extend the runway from 1.2 kilometres to 1.4 kilometres and eventually to 1.8 kilometres.

"We are in the process of acquiring another 54 acres of land to enable the final extension of the airport's runway to 1.8 kilometres to enable Q 400 type of aircraft (bigger planes) land at the facility."

KAA Acting Managing Director Alex Gitari said Ukunda airport is a strategic installation hence the need to upgrade it.

"It ideally supports tourism in this part of the nation which has one of the best beaches and a number of world-class star rated hotels apart from boosting the local economy through access to air travel out of Kwale," Mr Gitari said.

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