Construction of JKIA's Green Field terminal begins in August.

A parking lot at Terminal 4: the Green Filed
 terminal will add another 60 parking bays
CONSTRUCTION OF THE  US $640million Greenfield Terminal at JKIA,Nairobi, will commence in August 2012, we can report. Officials are cagey about the details, only confirming the commencement date. They would not say who the contractors are. However, we have reliably learnt that the contract has been signed.

Among the contracts signed is the supervision contract for the development of a green field terminal at Jomo Kenyatta international Airport, Nairobi. The terminal will be developed on a design, build, finance, operate and transfer (DBFOT) basis. The work will last 30 months, meaning terminal shall be completed early in 2015.

The Greenfield terminal will have a floor area of 172, 000 m2. It will be the premier hub terminal in Africa equipped for efficient connectivity for transiting passengers. It will have 50 international and 10 domestic check-in positions; 32 contact and 8 remote gates; an apron with 45 parking bays and linking taxiways and a Railway terminal.

The Greenfield terminal to be developed in two phases will expand JKIA’s capacity by 12 million passengers to more than 20 million passengers a year in Phase I. It will have a parking capacity, including “remote parking” for 60 aircraft bringing the total numbers of available parking slots over one hundred aircraft. It will also separate the arrival and departures gates.

The terminal complements a five- year plan that began in 2007 to expand the capacity of the airport from 2.5 million people a year to 6 million to date. The previous expansion plan which incorporates the construction of terminal 4 increased the size by creating a parking for 37 aircraft up from 20 previously. This phase cost a whopping US$200 million.

The green field project has a phase II. This will be constructed after the second runway which will connect the green field terminal Phase I. Phase II will expand capacity by the same proportions as Phase I. This will raise the size of JKIA to more than 600,000M2

It is not clear who will fund the project. However, it is understood that the authority was in negotiations with two Chinese banks for a concessional financing deal for the project. The financing deal is meant to “protect KAA’s interests.” This means that contractor cannot just accept any interest rate from his financiers, but will have to negotiate a financing deal acceptable to KAA. Alternatively, he will have to accept the financing negotiated by KAA.  For the works to begin in a month’s time, a financing deal acceptable to both parties must be in place.

Officials still cagey about the contract details, citing lack of authorization. However, a Chinese Construction company CATIC is working on terminal 4 which is due for completion next month. Could it be the one to build the green field terminal? That is a matter of speculation.
The new terminal, once complete will make Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, JKIA, the aviation hub of East and central Africa. In fact owing to its geographical location, Nairobi is the natural aviation hub of Africa. Already the airport is the busiest cargo hub in Africa, handling some 30 Million tones of cargo a year. The cargo is mainly Horticulture and floriculture products from Kenya and the East Africa region.

 Nairobi has become the financial, manufacturing, medical, educational and diplomatic hub in the east and central Africa region. These factors put lots of pressure on the Airport to also modernize and become the aviation hub of Africa.

JKIA is also home base for Kenya Airways, one of the most successful airlines in Africa.
The airline plans to expand its fleet to 107 from the current 39 over the next ten years.

Given such an expansion plan by its natural airline, JKIA would need to expand its facilities to accommodate her. Passenger traffic at JKIA is projected to grow at an average 12 per cent for the next twenty years. It is expected that by 2016, when the green field terminal is expected to be completed, the airport will be handling more than 15 million passengers.

 To be developed on a PPP basis, the new terminal has an internal rate of return of 16 per cent, a feasibility study established. JKIA directly contributes about 10.9 per cent of the GDP, says the authority’s handbook for 2011/2012.

The Airport will be connected to the city by a high speed Commuter railway Line. 
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