Sh1 billion earmarked for airstrips’ revamp yearly

Economy

Sh1 billion earmarked for airstrips’ revamp yearly


Transport-CS

Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The government plans to spend Sh1 billion annually on the expansion and rehabilitation of airstrips across the country to boost tourism and improve passenger and cargo transport.

Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen said the expansion is targeted at accommodating large aircraft.

“Our focus lies on funding and rehabilitating physical infrastructure, crafting modern air transport policies and regulations, enhancing safety measures, building capacity, and strengthening the institutions that oversee the sector.

“Some of these measures include funding where we have allocated approximately Sh1 billion annually for the expansion and development of airstrips to enhance its connectivity,” said Mr Murkomen during the launch of Nairobi-Migori passenger flights by Skyward Express on Wednesday.

The Treasury in its 2023/24 budget plan set aside Sh727 million for the expansion and rehabilitation of airstrips.

According to the estimates, Migori Airstrip will get Sh211 million, Lanet(Sh203 million), Kitale (Sh130 million), Isiolo (Sh70 million) and Angama(Sh113 million).

The rehabilitation works at Migori Airstrip involve full reconstruction of the runway, and set up of a new apron, security fence, and patrol road.

The Kenya Airports Authority(KAA) has pushed for the rehabilitation of the Migori airstrip to support the tourism circuit between Kenya and Tanzania.

KAA is eyeing tourists from Tanzania to use the facility to visit the region and also ease pressure on travellers to South Nyanza who currently rely on Kisumu airport.

Angama Airstrip is critical in boosting the Masai Mara National Reserve tourism circuit. It mainly serves Mara Angama Lodge, Mara West Camp, and other neighbouring lodges/camps.

Its rehabilitation and expansion work began in 2021 with the first phase entailing an upgrade of its 1260-metre-long runway and expansion of the width from 18 metres to 25 metres to take in larger aircraft.

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