Isiolo airport set to receive first chartered flight - Daily Nation

Security tight ahead of opening of Isiolo International Airport

Wednesday September 28 2016

Construction workers at Isiolo International

Construction workers at Isiolo International Airport, which is set to officially start operations in October after a major facelift. The first chartered flight is expected to land at the airport in October this year. PHOTO | VIVIAN JEBET | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By VIVIAN JEBET
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Security has been heightened at Isiolo International Airport, which is set to officially start operations in October after a major facelift.

The first chartered flight is expected to land in October before the airport starts receiving scheduled flights in November.

Although the exact date of the start of operations is yet to be announced, Isiolo County Commissioner George Natembeya said a committee has been formed to deal with any emergencies.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to officially commission the Sh2.7 billion airport in January 2017.

“An airport is a critical security facility. We have already set up a committee that will respond to any emergencies,” said Mr Natembeya.

The emergency team is made up of representatives from the Kenya Airports Authority, the county security team, the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority and the Isiolo County government.

The administrator said the airport is well secured since police have been deployed to guard all entry and exit points and the entire facility.

SCHOOL IN THE AIRPORT

The only remaining hitch is the KK Nkengechia Primary School, which is inside the airport, but Mr Natembeya said the government has allocated Sh75 million for its relocation.

The school has about 300 pupils.

The airport is part of Vision 2030 flagship projects intended to promote growth and unlock the economic potential of northern Kenya and neighbouring counties.

Mr Natembeya expressed concern over the surrounding hills saying they had “security implications”.

“We do not want to experience any challenges when the facility starts operating.

“The county security team has presented some proposals on the security of the facility which will soon be approved,” he added.

The airport has a 5,000-square meters passenger terminal and can handle up to 125,000 passengers annually.

The 1.4 kilometres runway is also set to be extended to 2.5 kilometres to enable bigger aircraft to use the airport, making it one of the biggest in the country.

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