February 8, 2013: President Mwai Kibaki officially presided over the official opening of the new 1.4 KM long runway at Isiolo Airstrip and the groundbreaking ceremony for its upgrade into a fully-fledged international airport.
The upgrade of the airport includes the construction of a Passenger Terminal Building with throughput capacity of 600,000 passengers annually, an administration block with a floor area of 1025 sq.m and a passenger terminal car park to accommodate 200 cars.
Speaking during the event, President Kibaki said the facility will promote the socio-economic development of the region once completed.
“It will facilitate fast and efficient movement of people, goods and services and thus open up the region to investment opportunities.” Said Kibaki.
The president said livestock farming, tourism and agriculture in the region will benefit from the upgraded airport, adding that it will make it easy to export livestock products to key markets in Asia and the Middle East.
In addition, President Kibaki said that Isiolo International Airport will also facilitate transport within the Horn of Africa region due to its strategic location.
The Head of State noted that the airport will enable farmers and traders in the region access international markets without having to transport their goods all the way to and from Nairobi or Eldoret as is the case currently.
While also giving his remarks at the event, Kenya Airports Authority’s Chairman, Prof. Mutuma Mugambi noted that the authority is undertaking several major projects across the country to improve existing airports and airstrips as well as build new ones to stimulate growth in key sectors of the economy such as tourism, horticulture, and trade; “We are currently undertaking numerous expansion projects of our main airports and designated airstrips in Nairobi, Kisumu, Isiolo, Embu, Nyeri, and Mombasa” Prof. Mutuma said.
Planned civil works at Isiolo airport will extend the runway from the current 1.4km to 2.5km, and expand the apron extension of the Apron to accommodate 9 Code ‘C’ aircraft. The airport upgrade also includes the construction of a paved road to connect the airport to the Nanyuki - Isiolo road.