Government plans to extend Eldoret Airport runway to handle big planes

Written by on 8 December 2022

The government intends to extend the runway of Eldoret International Airport by 500 metres to facilitate it to handle cargo flights.

Roads and Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen said that cargo flights have been having challenges taking off from the airport as the runway was not long enough to handle those with heavy loads of cargo.

Murkomen who appeared before the Transport and Infrastructure committee of the National Assembly said that the current 3.5km long and 45 metres wide runway is too short for cargo flights.

He said engineers were working on the project to establish the cost and other amenities.

He said details on how the 15 hectares of land required for the runway and an additional 19.74 hectares of land for the development of hangar facilities will be given at a later date.

“The challenge we are having as the government is getting land bordering the airport to allow the exportation of farm produce from the airport directly as opposed to transporting it by road so that it can be picked at JKIA,” Murkomen said.

Baringo Central MP Joshua Kandie had raised the issue saying the government was not utilizing the airport to the maximum.

Kandie asked the CS to explain whether plans had been put to address the issue of the expansion of the runway to allow easy transportation of cargo from the airport.

The airport currently handles Ethiopian Airlines and Emirates, both operating wide-bodied cargo aircraft (B777) from the Middle East.

Murkomen noted that while it is easy for the large cargo flights to land, takeoff has been a challenge that has seen the cargo – largely farm produce- hauled to Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport by road.

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