My ministry is upgrading airports, airstrips across Kenya’ – Murkomen

Tuesday, April 16th, 2024 14:48 | By
Roads and Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen
Roads and Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen. PHOTO/@kipmurkomen/X

Roads and Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen says the government is on a mission to upgrade airports and airstrips across the country.

Murkomen made the promise after meeting a delegation from the Cargo Consolidators Association operating at Eldoret International Airport.

"The aviation sector is crucial in promoting domestic and inter-regional trade. My Ministry is therefore upgrading airports and airstrips across Kenya. This morning, alongside Nandi Governor Stephen Sang and Kenya Revenue Authority Chairman Anthony Mwaura, I had the pleasure of meeting a delegation from the Cargo Consolidators Association operating at Eldoret International Airport," Murkomen stated.

"We discussed business concerns at the airport and agreed to formulate a multi-agency framework that will streamline airport operations amicably."

The CS, who has been under fire over the state of major airports in the country, promised the Eldoret International Airport's runway would be expanded by 500 metres to enhance its capacity.

"Eldoret Airport is also set to benefit from the ongoing upgrading of airport infrastructure across the country. The runway is marked for expansion by 500m to enhance its capacity. Since the launch of freight services in 2023, the airport has recorded significant improvement. Freight flights have increased from one to three per week, significantly bolstering the export business in the North Rift and Western regions," he added.

In yet another promise on Monday, in an interview with a local TV station, Murkomen promised that the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) would get a new terminal before 2027.

"I want to tell Kenyans that by the time we are going to the next elections, we will have a new terminal at least complete or almost complete that will make JKIA a more competitive airport with facilities that are enviable and make us an aviation hub," Murkomen stated.

Murkomen spoke days after CNN Journalist Larry Madowo exposed the sorry state of the country's busiest airport in a video posted online.

"JKIA still won’t protect us from the rain after all these years? Do we have no capacity for shame? Your leaders don’t experience this JKIA shame because they get picked up from the plane to an exclusive government VIP section, and then straight into a waiting car. They don’t mix with the masses. But I’ll keep posting until things improve," Larry lamented.

Murkomen's response

In response, Murkomen accused Madowo of having ignored the state of the airport in previous years, only exposing it because he is living abroad.

"I saw Larry taking videos at the airport. I was laughing because Larry was with us in the country for the last 50 years when that airport was like that. Suddenly because he lives in ‘majuu’ his eyes are open and realizes that there is no shade when you exit JKIA. It is not news that JKIA does not have a canopy for shielding passengers, it is a fact," Murkomen said.

Madowo however dismissed the claims, saying he had previously exposed the sorry state of the airport several times. Madowo also shared posts of his complaints dating back to 2014.

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