Multi-Billion Airstrips That'll Transform Kenyan Towns [PHOTOS]

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    A charter plane at an airport
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  • Devolution has led to the development of several regions in Kenya, with a focus on opening up counties to investors who would create employment opportunities and also aid in raising revenue. 

    One of the factors that attract investors is a good transport network. The Jubilee Government under President has expanded the road network in Kenya, upgraded railway lines and the ports at Kisumu and Mombasa. 

    For air transport, some counties have funded themselves to upgrade or build new airstrips that will open the regions to more developments. Some projects have also been sponsored by the national government through the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) and donors. 

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    Nanyuki airfield in Laikipia County
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    Nanyuki Airstrip - Laikipia County

    National government-funded rehabilitation projects are underway at the Nanyuki Airstrip which will be expanded to accommodate bigger planes with a carrying capacity of up to 52 passengers. 

    Previously the airstrip could only accommodate planes with a capacity of 14 passengers.

    The upgrading of the airstrip will cost Ksh300 million and is expected to improve tourism and trade in the region.

    Engineers in the airstrip assembled four planes including an Airbus helicopter owned by Tropic Air.

    Nyaribori Airstrip - Nyeri County 

    President Kenyatta commissioned the 190 acres project in November 2018. However, rehabilitation of the Nyaribori Airstrip commenced in November 2020 and is set to be completed in July 2021. 

    The Airstrip will rival Wilson and Kisumu Airport as it will have state of the art facilities. 

    The rehabilitation includes the construction of a VIP lounge, electrical works, mechanical works and stormwater drainage works at Ksh 39,920,629.

    Kakamega Airstrip - Kakamega County 

    In July 2020, the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) initiated the rehabilitation of Kakamega Airstrip runway to accommodate Code C aircraft - Q300, Fokker 50, Buffaloes, Embraer 124, CRJ, in line with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards.

    The project will include an extension of the existing runway from 1.3 kilometres to 2 kilometres, reconstruction of aircraft parking, patrol roads and perimeter fencing to ensure the security of passengers and aircraft at a cost of Ksh174.7 million. 

    The 38-acre airstrip is being rehabilitated by M/S Halane Construction Limited with works projected to be completed by September 31, 2021. The project is funded by the World Bank in collaboration with the national government. 

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    A plane at Kakamega Airstrip in Kakamega County
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    Migori Airstrip - Migori County

    Migori airstrip (Lichota) is approximately 22 kilometres from the Tanzania-Kenya border and 8.3 kilometres from Migori town. the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) expects the upgrade of the airstrip to be completed on June 30, 2021.

    It also said that the total amount for rehabilitation will cost Ksh 243.1 million. 

    Migori and Kakamega Airstrips will enhance transport connectivity, boost trade in the region and decongest Kisumu International Airport (KIA). 

    Kitui Ithookwe Airstrip - Kitui County 

    The county government invested Ksh133 million in the project and also said it would upgrade roads to make it accessible 

    It added that install it would install security provisions and re-construct windsock amongst other airstrip necessities.

    The airstrip will connect Eastern Kenya with the country and also open it to investors. 

    Cars at Nyaribo airstrip in Nyeri
    Cars at Nyaribo airstrip in Nyeri.
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    Airports 

    Isiolo Airport 

    The Ksh3 billion airport was officially opened in July 2017 and was expected to uplift the economies of Northern Kenya, including Isiolo, Meru, Marsabit and Laikipia Counties.

    Miraa and horticultural produce from Meru and Laikipia were to be ferried from the airport, besides local and international passengers landing at the facility, boosting tourism.

    The Kenya Airports  Authority (KAA)  also constructed cargo shades for traders to utilize the facility. Flight charges to and from Nairobi are also pocket friendly.

    The project has, however, been under investigation in the past years after the emergence of cracks on its runways, with rehabilitations following later on. 

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    Isiolo International Airport
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    Nakuru Airport - Nakuru County 

    In December 2020, Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui and Deputy Kenya Air Force Commander Brigadier John Omenda commissioned the construction of Nakuru Airport at the 81 Tank Battalion Barracks in Lanet.

    The national government allocated Ksh 400 million for the project in 2020/21 financial year, with a promise of additional funding in subsequent years.

    The first phase of the project will entail upgrading the current military airstrip to an airport that will serve both the military and civilians. The facility will handle both commercial and passenger flights from across the country.

    The airstrip will be upgraded to bitumen standards after which two aprons and two terminal buildings; one for civilians and another for the military will be constructed. A civilian access road will also be set up.

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    Governor Lee Kinyanjui (left) at the ground-breaking ceremony of Nakuru Airport at 81 Tank Battalion Barracks in Lanet in December 2020
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