The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) has announced a Ksh1.2 billion facelift for Kisumu International Airport to improve customer experience and reposition the facility as a regional aviation hub.
The Ksh1.2 billion upgrade will see the passenger tower building expanded to handle one million passengers per year up from the current 500,000.
The upgrade is aimed at providing the surrounding community with proper channels to venture into flower and vegetable export business.
According to KAA Business Development Manager, Jimmy Kebati, the pavement and taxi apron will be extended to the old airport to create space for setting up a cargo unit at the facility.
This project will go a long way in enhancing the capacity of the airport which serves the entire western region to attract direct international flights.
The Ethiopian Airlines and Qatar Airways have already expressed interest in flying direct to Kisumu International Airport according to Kebati, who adds that once the expansion is complete more airlines will come on board.
KAA has already leased land to a private developer to set up a cargo-handling unit at the airport to assist farmers in the area export fresh produce.
The contractor working on the cargo unit is expected to break ground before April to ensure that the project is in place ahead of the official launch later in the year.
The facility will encompass a transit line, park houses, warehouses and cold rooms for storage of fresh produce before airlifting.
The fresh produce sector, which earned Kshh151 billion in 2020 stands to grow further if farmers from the western region scale up production.
The Lake Region is one of the most densely populated regions of Kenya with over 10 million people which constitute about 25 percent of the population in Kenya.