Government Acquires 50 Acres for Expansion of Eldoret Airport
The Ministry of Transport has finalised the process of acquiring 50 acres of land bordering Eldoret International Airport for the expansion of the runway to four kilometres.
Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen says they have been in talks with the neighbouring investors around the airport for the acquisition of their land to enable the expansion of the facility.
Mr Murkomen said he was working under the instruction of the President to have the runway extended from the current 3.5 kilometres to four in order to accommodate large cargo aircraft to lift more fresh produce from the north rift.
The CS said the airport has enough land to accommodate the extension of the runway but there wasn’t enough room for other supporting infrastructure such as warehouses and cold storage facility.
“I have been instructed by the President to ensure that the runway is extended and I have no choice over that, I am happy to announce that we are concluding the talks on the acquisition of land near the airport,” said Mr Murkomen.
Speaking dura ing horticulture conference in Eldoret on Thursday, Mr Murkomen said the current shorter runway has limited the ability of cargo planes to lift more freight from the aerodrome.
“The maximum cargo that we can take off from this airport is 55 tonnes as the length of the runway limits the volumes that can be lifted from the facility,” he said.
The two day workshop in Eldoret was organised by Horticulture Directorate, which is under Agriculture and Food Authority.
Eldoret International Airport is the second largest airport in terms of cargo handling in Kenya after JKIA, with annual capacity of 12,000 tonnes.
The airport was established 25 years ago and has largely remained underutilised with about two cargo airlines using the facility.
The CS said a contractor is at the site to repair the lighting system on the runway, which has not been renovated since the construction of the facility.
Last week, Mr Murkomen and his Trade counterpart Moses Kuria relaunched cargo services at Eldoret Airport after a three-month hiatus on freight services.