Manda airstrip is situated on Manda Island in the Lamu Archipelago.
The airstrip was established between 1962-63 as landing strip for the colonial administrators.
The airstrip later developed and around early seventies a pioneer airline known as Avion air stated some air operations into lamu bringing in white settlers for tour though it is explained that there were no hotels by then and therefore came with their own parked food for a day’s tour.
As more airlines came in, it developed to its present state with expansion of the size, though currently this airstrip does not have a terminal Building, plans for the construction of one is at an advanced stage. This airstrip does not handle international flights. International flights have to clear through airport formalities either at Jomo Kenyatta, - Nairobi, or Mombasa, or Malindi before flying into Lamu as a domestic flight. This is unmanned airstrip where pilots have to coordinate among themselves while airborne, for safety purposes. During emergencies arrangement can be quickly organized to handle the situation.
General Operations of the airstrip
The airstrip has acreage of 194.0 hectares of land with a Title Deed. It is a class III airport with fire cover category 5. The hours of operation are between 0600hrs and 1800hrs.This airstrip is one of the unmanned aerodrome where there is no control tower It has two runways - main runway, 16/34 is 1km long by 15m wide with bitumen surface and has an overrun of 600m compact murram.
This runway is PCN 8 and the largest aircrafts it can accommodate are as follows:-
- ATR 42
- Dash 7 & 8
- SAAB 340
- Challenger II
- Twin Otter
- King air
The secondary runway is 08/26 and is 700m by 15m wide. The runway surface is all compact murram. It is used during certain period of the year when the re is change of the cross winds. It can accommodate small light planes.