Kenya has international airports in Nairobi, Mombasa, Eldoret and Kisumu, domestic airports in Nairobi, Malindi, Lamu and Lokichogio (Turkana) in addition to another 463 aerodromes and airstrips. All public airport facilities are managed by the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA), the government agency mandated to administer, control and manage aerodromes in the country. The aviation industry has been on an upward trend and is projected to grow at 4% per annum through 2030 with passenger traffic growing at 5% annually owing to urbanization, a growing middle class as well as an increase in low cost carriers. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has dampened these forecasts with international travel grinding to a halt and tourism taking a severe hit. It is yet to be seen how long recovery will take and this will greatly impact investments in the sector.
A number of Kenya’s airports should be earmarked for expansion. There is an ongoing modernization program at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) which include construction of modern terminals, a national airport masterplan, installation of integrated security systems at all major airports, installation of communication equipment and institutional capacity building. JKIA is the busiest airport in East and Central Africa and is the 7th busiest on the continent. Originally built to serve 2.5 million passengers annually in the 1970s, the ongoing modernization and expansion program at the airport has seen capacity increased to 7.5 million and projected increased capacity to 20 million passengers by 2030.
Other airport that need expansion projects include Malindi, Isiolo and Lokichogio airports and the Suneka airstrip and rehabilitation of airstrips in all 47 counties.
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