Jomo Kenyatta Int’l expands cargo facilities

As part of its strategic plan to meet rising air cargo demand across Africa, the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) is in the process of expanding its existing air cargo facilities at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to handle more freighters. Wong Joon San reports.

The airport, which is currently ranked number two in terms cargo business in Africa, has received several expressions of interest from airlines which wish to operate out of Nairobi. Several European, North American and Asian airlines plan freighter services to JKIA due its geographic location especially in relationto the Great Lakes Region.

Currently the airport has a number of foreign carriers calling at JKIA, including: Air France Cargo, Astral Aviation, Cargolux, DHL, Egypt Air Cargo, Lufthansa Air Cargo, MK Lines, Martinair, Safari Air Cargo, SIA Cargo, Qatar Air Cargo and Emirates SkyCargo.

Established in 1991, JKIA has five cargo facilities with a total capacity to handle 200,000 tonnes of cargo annually and an animal holding facility.

The air cargo terminal operators include Kenya Airfreight Handling Limited (KAHL), Transglobal Cargo Centre, Nairobi Cargo Centre, Cargo Service Centre and Signon Freight.

“The project’s main objective is to increase the capacity of JKIA’s freight terminal by providing additional parking stands for five wide body aircraft,” a KAA spokesman said, adding that the expansion project will increase the aircraft parking area, car park and access road at an estimated cost of Ksh 1.6 billion (US$20.6 million).

Upon completion, the expanded cargo apron will bring the total freight business area to 90,000 square metres giving the airport the much needed extra space needed for expansion to meet the fast growing airfreight business.