KAA to upgrade Malindi airport
By Lee Mwiti Mukunga | July 1st 2021
The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) is planning to upgrade the runway at the Malindi Airport.
The move is expected to elevate the airport in Kilifi County that is currently restricted to servicing small airplanes, to being able to receive larger aircraft.
KAA also expects the upgrade to enable the airport handle direct international flights. Malindi, and the larger Kilifi County, has major tourist attractions. It has been a popular destination for European, particularly Italian tourists.
KAA plans to increase the length of the runway to 2.4 kilometres from the current 1.4 kilometres.
“The overall objective of the project is to expand the current runway to allow for direct international flights and operation of larger aircraft at the airfield," said KAA in documents lodged with the National Environmental Authority (Nema) seeking environmental approvals to undertake construction works.
"The construction of the proposed runway extension and associated works are estimated to cost Sh1 billion.”
The expansion of the runway to accommodate larger planes is also in the backdrop of an increased number of people using the airport.
KAA data show the number of passengers using the airport nearly doubled between 2014 and 2019, growing to 181, 000 in 2019 from about 79, 000 in 2014.
“The proposed extension of Malindi Airport runway will improve the operational status of the airport and open up the region for more business opportunities," KAA said.
"Tourism-related businesses are expected to flourish as a result of the planned introduction of direct international flights to the airport upon completion of the project. Apart from the anticipated economic benefits, the project will create more employment opportunities both during construction and operation phases.”
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