August proved ominous for Kenya after the International arrival terminal went up in flames at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on the 7th. The incident fronts a setback for the expansion project targeted for the International Airport towards achieving Vision 2030.

The expansion is being undertaken to cater for 10.9 million passengers projected to be using JKIA by 2015, with the number expected to rise by 55 percent to upto 17 million in 2020.

With the recent occurrence, President Uhuru Kenyatta said a new temporary terminal with a capacity of 2.5 million passengers would be built.

“We expect this to be ready and working in the coming weeks. We also expect the commissioning of our Terminal 4, currently under construction, to come on stream earlier than the projected March 4 date,” he added.

The President said that when the new temporary terminal is ready, the government would do a full refurbishment of Terminals 1, 2 and 3 which were affected by the fire. The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) had already secured a Ksh8 billion ($93 million) loan from the European Investment Bank for giving the three units a facelift.

The flagship project entails the construction of a second runway and a new terminal regarded as the Greenfield Project. In 2011, KAA gave Anhui Construction Company, a Chinese firm, a tender worth Ksh55 billion (US$654 million) to construct the new airport terminal and a second runway adjacent to JKIA expected to be equipped to handle 12 million passengers a year. 

The Terminal 4 building will double the current size of JKIA from 25,662m² to 55,222m² and have a capacity of 20million passengers per year and its completion was the pre-requisite to the renovation of the current terminal with units 1, 2 and 3. The inferno now revises the sequence. 

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