Passengers at the international arrivals at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on November 29, 2021.

| Diana Ngila | Nation Media Group

Brace for long processing times, JKIA travellers told

What you need to know:

  • The Kenya Airports Authority says plans are underway to decongest Terminal 1A at the JKIA.
  • Terminals 1B and 1C are being refurbished and are expected to return to service in April.

The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) has warned travellers using Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to expect longer processing times and passenger queues.

In a statement on Tuesday, KAA said passengers will have to arrive three hours early for their international departures as Covid-19 screening intensifies.

With two terminals closed for renovation, KAA said, plans are underway to decongest Terminal 1A, which is used for international departures.

“We kindly request passengers to arrive at the airport at least 3 hours before their scheduled departure times and to take into consideration the extended travel times to the airport due to the ongoing construction of the JKIA-Nairobi Expressway,” KAA said in a statement.

Travellers should expect longer processing times and queues at Terminal 1A during peak hours between 8pm and 11pm.

Travel requirements

“In order to address this challenge, KAA, in conjunction with various stakeholders, has taken a number of remedial measures.

“A multi-agency facilitation team comprising among others, KAA, airlines, Port health, Airport Police and Immigration personnel, has been instituted and tasked to respond to issues of passenger facilitation, passenger processing and queue management.”

Terminals 1B and 1C are being refurbished and are expected to return to service in April.

Passengers with special needs, such as those with reduced mobility or travelling with young children, will continue to be accorded priority in processing.

“In addition, a number of international flights have been relocated from Terminal 1A to Terminal 2 while the deployment levels for Port Health and airline staff involved in document checks has been scaled up,” the statement said.

They advised passengers to ensure they comply with all travel requirements for their destination countries before arriving at the airport.

Vaccinated passengers

Port Health has begun giving the Covid-19 antigen test for $20 (Sh2,268) for departures.

Using a nasal swab to get a fluid sample, antigen tests produce results in minutes.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, confirming the establishment of government laboratories at all points of exit and entry, said decisive action had to be taken given the increase in the presentation of fake results in the past few days.

“We do not want private labs on the scene until we are certain that there is no funnier business going on,” he said.

The Ministry of Health has also directed the Port Health surveillance team and other stakeholders to ensure that only vaccinated passengers with negative PCR certificates enter Kenya.