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The Government of Kenya commissioned refurbished Isiolo Airport in July 2017. Located in Isiolo county, it is the country’s fifth international airport.
The airport is developed and operated by the government-owned enterprise Kenya Airports Authority (KAA). It has been rehabilitated to international standards to serve a number of airlines and air operators with domestic and international flights.
Completed in July 2017, the airport modernisation is part of the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSSET) corridor development project, as well as Kenya’s Vision 2030 programme.
With a passenger handling capacity of 125,000 passengers a year, the new terminal building has been built to accommodate more tourists and local residents.
Isiolo International Airport location
The international airport is built on a 329.7ha site on the border of Isiolo County and Meru County. Situated in the northern part of Kenya, the airport is 283km away from Jomo Kenyatta International, the country’s largest civilian airport.
Construction and financing for the Isiolo Airport refurbishment
Development of the Isiolo airport was carried out in three phases. Construction on phase one began in 2011 with an estimated investment of KES1.7bn ($16.4m). The airport runway was opened in February 2013.
Kenyan Northern Construction Company won a contract to build a new passenger terminal building to meet international standards during phase two of the project. Ground for the terminal building was broken in February 2013 and works were completed in February 2016.
Phase two also involved construction of car parking area, administration office, and support facilities.
An apron and access roads were built as part of the third development phase. A contract for the construction of roads and aircraft pavements was awarded in November 2014 and the works continued until March 2016.
Design and features of Isiolo International Airport
With a floor area of approximately 5,000m², Isiolo Airport’s passenger terminal building provides interconnectivity and efficient movement between parking areas and terminal facilities. The terminal has the capacity to handle approximately 700 passengers an hour.
Nine check-in counters are available for domestic and international flights. The terminal building also features a VIP lounge, shops, banking and ATM facilities, foreign exchange bureaus, and airline front offices.
Additional parking facilities were built to house approximately 200 vehicles. The airport and airfield pavements were constructed and rehabilitated to enhance efficiency at the airport.
The international airport also features a 2km-long access road, 1,025m² of office space, a control tower, air ambulance services, a cargo unit, a new 150m apron, and a waste treatment plant.
Runways for domestic and international flights
As part of the modernisation, the 16/34 runway was expanded from 1.5km to 2.5km to meet the needs of both domestic and international flights. Surfaced with asphalt, the runway can handle Code C aircraft including Boeing 747 to 787 Dreamliner variants and Airbus A300 to A380.
Marketing commentary on Kenyan aviation industry
The aviation industry in Kenya contributes approximately KES24.8bn ($234.69m) to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), according to the International Air Transport Association. The industry supports 46,000 jobs in the country.
In addition to Isiolo Airport, Kenya has four international airports, including Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Moi International Airport, Eldoret International Airport, and Kisumu International Airport.
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