MPs allocate Sh1.5bn for Malindi Airport expansion in 2017/18 financial year

Malindi Airport will be allocated Sh1.5 billion in the 2017/2018 financial year for the facility’s expansion to international standards, the Parliamentary Committee on Transport said on Friday.

The committee said the airport got Sh438 million in this financial year that ends in June.

Kenya Airports Authority has projected the grand expansion plans of the airport shall cost a tune of about Sh5.6 billion in long term.

Following a tour of the airport on Friday, Transport committee members led by Mandera West MP Maalim Mahamud said they were satisfied with the progress made.

The MPs asked the Transport ministry to fast track the development so as to boost Malindi’s economy.

“The government is keen on seeing the project goes on without any delays,” Mahamud said.

During his presentation to MPs, airport manager Walter Agong said KAA is almost through with the first phase of the expansion programme.

He said the ultramodern terminal building is already complete together with the new tower all which is fit with modern facilities required.

At the same time he said the new apron, modern car park, and security fence were 95 per cent complete.

“In our master plan we intend to make Malindi the best international airport, we are targeting the European market particularly the Italians, there has been a huge cry on the need to expand the airport,’’ he said.

Once complete, he said the airport will be able to accommodate Airbus 319, 737 or 600, which can take off from Rome to Malindi nonstop.

The airport requires about 259 hectares of land for expansion to be complete. Agong said KAA has 100.6ha and is in the process of acquiring 159ha.

The national government has already dispatched Sh300 million to compensate land owners and squatters within the south of the airport, a process that will be conducted by National Lands Commission.

He said this will be complete by April.

Agong said although the greatest challenge remains the runway expansion from 1.4 to 2.5 kilometres, surveyors are on the ground marking areas that will be affected as negotiations begin in April.

MPs present were Peter Shehe (Ganze), Aduma Awuor (Nyakach) and Mark Lomulokol (Kacheliba).

Courtesy of The Star, Kenya