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Lanet Airport will be ready in August next year, says agency

By Kennedy Gachuhi | May 19th 2021
The ongoing construction of Lanet Airport at 81 Tank Battalion Barracks-Lanet in Nakuru County. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Lanet Airport will be completed by August next year, Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) has said.

In a statement, the authority said the first phase of the Sh3 billion project was on course amid the Covid-19 pandemic, which has affected many development projects. 

“The groundbreaking for the project was done in December 2020, the site handed over to the contractor in January 2021 and the project commenced on February 23. The contract period is 18 months and the completion date set on August 22, 2021,” said KAA. 

The project entails the upgrade of a 1.7-kilometre-long military runway at 81 Tank Battalion Barracks, Lanet, which is currently of gravel finish to bitumen standards. The airbase will be a dual military-civilian facility.

The runway strip will be 150 metres wide with four taxiways and a military apron that will be able to accommodate larger and heavier commercial aircrafts such as Beechcraft 1900. 

During an inspection tour on Tuesday by Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui, accompanied by Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri, KAA revealed that the Sh400 million first phase of the project was 5 per cent complete. 

“The government has allocated Sh406,761,591 for the first phase. An advance payment of Sh39,418,827 has been made. The project is currently at 5.5 per cent. The contractor has mobilized the required resources including human capital,” KAA said in a statement. 

Government spokesman Cyrus Oguna led the County Development Implementation Coordination Committee (CDICC) in an inspection tour of the project. 

Due to limited civilian access to the project site within the military facility, speculation has been rife that the project was yet to take off. 

“There have been questions over the progress of this project and we assure the residents that everything is on track. The contractor has devised ways to continue undertaking it safely in regards to Covid-19,” said Kinyanjui. 

The governor noted that the project has a high potential for taxpayers as they will recoup funds invested in the project through the tourism and horticultural sub-sectors which thrive in the county. 

“This dream was conceived over 20 years ago and for the first time, we have seen a commitment by the government in financial allocation and implementation. The investment shall not be in vain considering the potential of our county and the Rift region,” said Kinyanjui. 

Residents around the barracks are set to benefit from the project which is set to have tarmac roads leading to the airport for easier access.

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