International Airports in Kenya

International Airports in Kenya : Nairobi, the capital and biggest city of Kenya, is served by Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, an international airport(JKIA).The other three significant international airports in Kenya are Eldoret International Airport, Moi International Airport, and Kisumu International Airport. Jomo Kenyatta International Airport has scheduled flights to more than 50 countries, is a small airport in the Embakasi neighbourhood of Nairobi, 18 kilometres (11 mi) southeast of the city’s commercial centre. Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya’s first President and Prime Minister, was given his own airport in 1978, which had previously been known as Embakasi Airport. As the sixth busiest airport in terms of passenger traffic on the continent in 2016, the airport handled over 7 million passengers.

The history of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport

Since 1945, there have been discussions of developing the airport. The colonial ruler at the time, Britain, and its national airline, BOAC, were concerned that the Eastleigh airport’s current infrastructure would not be sufficient for post-War civilian airliners. Planners were preoccupied for 8 years with the costs of enhancing Eastleigh as opposed to building a new airport. The big question was who would pay. The British, who colonised the nations of East Africa, had to decide whether to build a new airport or renovate Eastleigh Airport.

The Mau Mau rebels were used as forced labourers to complete much of the run-way construction when the British opted to build a new airport at Embakasi. They had to put in a lot of effort since the British wanted the airport finished as soon as possible. The majority of these Mau Mau rebels passed away there from weariness. There have been numerous reports of suicides and self-mutilations among this site’s employees as a result of their unfavourable working circumstances. Eastleigh Airport and Wilson Airport are the other two airports in Nairobi. On a clear day, it is easy to view Mount Meru in Tanzania, which is 220 kilometres away, Mount Kilimanjaro, which is 213 kilometres away, and Mount Kenya. The runway is clearly visible with little impediment.

Sir Evelyn Baring, the final colonial governor of Kenya, inaugurated it on Sunday, March 9, 1958.  The mother Queen Elizabeth was scheduled to attend and honour the event, but she was unable to do so because of an issue with her plane in Australia.

The Embakasi Airport’s runway was increased from the 2,432 metre Marram runway in Eastleigh, which was challenging during the rainy months, to 3,048 metres.

Facilities at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport

Two terminals exist. The four sections of Terminal 1 are arranged in a semi-circular configuration and are designated as 1A, 1B, 1C, and 1E for international arrivals and departures and 1D for domestic departures and arrivals. Low-cost carriers use Terminal 2. The Kenya Air Force operates out of the original terminal, which is commonly referred to as Old Embakasi Airport. It is situated on the north side of the runway.

KAA statistics show that Terminal 1-A at the airport can accommodate 2.5 million people. By 2025, the Kenyan government hopes to have expanded JKIA’s terminals to accommodate over 25 million passengers yearly. More than 70% of the nation’s total passenger traffic in 2016 was handled by JKIA.

Moi International Airport, Mombasa

The second-largest city in Kenya, Mombasa, is home to Moi International Airport. Airports Council International recognised the airport in 2020 as the Best Airport in Africa with less than 2 million passengers yearly.

Mombasa and the neighbouring areas are served by Moi International Airport. It is located 425 air miles (264 km) southeast of the country’s busiest and largest airport, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Kenya Airports Authority runs Mombasa Airport. It was given the name Daniel Arap Moi during the time he served as president of Kenya.

The airport, which is 200 feet (61 metres) above sea level, has two runways: Runway 1 is 3,350 feet (10,990 feet) long, while Runway 2 is 1,260 feet (4,130 feet) long. The other names for Runway 1 and Runway 2 are Runway 03/21 and Runway 15/33, respectively. Instrument Landing System (ILS) technology is available on Runway 1.

At the airport, there are two terminals. International flights are mostly handled by Terminal 1, while local flights are handled by Terminal 2. Some airlines use Terminal 1 for both domestic and international travel, such Kenya Airways.

It was announced in September 2018 that Qatar Airways would begin offering four weekly flights to Mombasa using the A320. On December 11, 2018, the first flight took off from Doha, taking slightly over 6 hours in total.

From 18 August 1992 until 4 December of the same year, when it was subordinated and combined with Operation Restore Hope, Moi International Airport served as the regional command and control headquarters for the US Central Command for Operation Provide Relief. Tactical communications specialists from the Joint Communications Support Element (JCSE) were among the US Central Command personnel that were initially sent.

International Airports in Kenya
Moi International Airport

Moi International Airport served as a refuelling station for the Operation Support Hope humanitarian operation into Rwanda from July to September 1994. Due to the lack of fuel in the interior of Africa, empty C-141 and C-5 freighter jets headed back to Europe flew to Mombasa. Due to runway extension construction, the airlift through Mombasa was discontinued by October.

The History of Moi International Airport

The South African Army’s Engineer Corps constructed the airport during the Second World War. The Royal Air Force (AHQ East Africa and No. 246 Wing RAF) operated anti-submarine Catalina flying boats off the East African coast, the Fleet Air Arm, which served as a land base of the British Eastern Fleet based at nearby Kilindini Harbour beginning in 1942, and the South African Air Force, which was involved in the war against Italy in Abyssinia. The airport’s previous name was Port Reitz Airport.

In 1979, Mombasa Airport underwent expansion to become an international airport. Benair Aircraft Engineering, a company authorised by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) as an accredited maintenance organisation (AMO), offers aircraft repair services for private and small- to medium-sized commercial aircraft out of government and private hangars.

In 1997, Benair Engineering built its first temporary hangar for maintaining private aircraft, and it is still in use today. The government hangar, built to service Catalina aircraft during World War II as part of the British East Africa war effort, sits next to the hangar. Since it opened on the Kenyan coast, Benair has served as the main facility for maintaining aeroplanes, and its name honours chief engineer Geoffrey Benaglia. Principal clients include Mombasa Air Safari, Precision Air (Tanzania), Bluesky Aviation, Dodsons International, Dorenair, and Dodsons International.

Eldoret International Airport

The Eldoret Airport is situated in the city of Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County, in central Kenya, not far from the Ugandan border. In the Kapseret Ward of Eldoret, it is situated about 17 kilometres (11 mi) south of the city’s commercial Centre. This area is located 269 kilometres (167 miles) northwest of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, which is Kenya’s main commercial and military airport.

Large airport serving the city of Eldoret and its surrounding areas is called Eldoret International Airport. A single asphalt runway measuring 3,475 metres (11,401 feet) in length serves the airport, which is located at 2,150 metres (7,050 feet) above sea level.

The History of Eldoret International Airport

The airport opened its doors in 1995. The Kenya Airports Authority is in charge of running it. The airport currently has two international cargo flights that are planned as well as a number of sporadic freighters every week. The airport’s regular operating hours are from Monday through Sunday from 03.30 to 17.30 GMT, but they can be extended upon request. The airport now offers three weekly scheduled international cargo flights and a number of ad hoc freighters. The goal of building Eldoret International Airport was to integrate and open up the Western region to domestic and international markets in order to achieve rapid economic growth. The airport is also anticipated to encourage the use of Western Kenya’s abundant tourism circuit, which is now underutilised.

Kisumu International Airport

The third-largest city in Kenya, Kisumu, is home to Kisumu International Airport. It is Kenya’s fourth international airport and the busiest airport west of Nairobi. It is also the third busiest airport in Kenya.

The second stage of Kisumu International Airport’s 4.9 billion shilling expansion is scheduled to begin, and it will involve the building of a parallel taxiway, a cargo apron and related facilities.

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