Kenya Airways is to be incorporated in the project to expand Terminal 4 at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
This comes after the airline said the Kenya Airports Authority was falling behind schedule in implementing the plan that is to cost approximately Sh45 billion ($500 million).
“The Ministry (of Transport) asked us to come in on the terminal expansion partnership with the Kenya Airports Authority to fast track the process.
“We had noticed that KAA was unlikely to deliver the terminal on time for our expansion programme,” Kenya Airways chief executive officer Titus Naikuni said last week during a meeting with business leaders in Nairobi.
This follows a government directive to embrace the Public-Private Partnership model to fast track infrastructural development at the airport, which was originally designed to handle 2.5 million people a year, but handles approximately six million passengers.
Mr Naikuni said the airline is working on a proposal to present to the board of directors for approval after which it would be forwarded to the Ministry of Transport within the next two to three weeks.
However, he would not divulge the content of the proposal, but said the nature of the partnership would be on the design, costing, and timelines for implementation.
The airline said the project should be completed within the next four or five years.
Once complete, the terminal is expected to handle 20 million passengers annually, apart from boosting the airport’s status as a regional hub of international standard.
The terminal is to be constructed in two phases that will include the setting up of a new terminal building and floor area of 172,000 square metres.
This will include 50 international and 10 domestic check-in positions, 32 contact and eight remote gates.
It will also have linking taxi ways and an associated apron (part of the airport provided for stationing of aircraft for the embarkation and disembarkation of passengers or loading and unloading of cargo) with 45 stands.
According to the Kenya Investment Authority, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport directly contributes about 10.9 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product and holds strong growth potential.
An increase in capacity is set to unlock the suppressed growth in traffic that will, in turn, stimulate other sectors of the economy like tourism, horticulture exports, and business travel.
Contacted by Smart Company, the Kenya Airports Authority declined to comment on the developments. Instead, it directed inquiries to the Ministry of Transport for information on the terminal.
“We cannot comment on that. Just talk to the Ministry of Transport,” KAA’s communications manager Dominic Ngigi said on the phone.
“We were unable to get a comment from the ministry’s permanent secretary as he was said to be out of the office.