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Kenya Airports Authority pumps $3.5 million to repair dilapidated Wilson airport runway after aircrafts run amok

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  • Wilson Airport is one of the busiest airports in terms of aircraft movement in East and Central Africa. 
  • Local air operators have complained that the potholed runways is the cause of air mishaps that have led to some planes skidding off the runways.
  • Kenya Civil Aviation Authority director-general Gilbert has said major works on the project will start soon.

Following frequent air mishaps at Kenya’s Wilson Airport linked to fast deteriorating facilities, authorities have now moved to arrest the situation.

The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) is set to pump Sh350 million ($3.5 million) to fix potholes at the Airport in a bid to reduce increasing number of plane mishaps at the facility.

Wilson Airport is one of the busiest airports in terms of aircraft movement in East and Central Africa. Domestic flights constitute 90% of the total flights from the Airport with international flights accounting for 10%.


Lamu-bound Silverstone aircraft crashes minutes after take-off from Wilson Airport

However, in recent months cases of air mishaps including aircrafts skidding off the runway have been on the rise, casting a bad light at the government agency.

Local air operators have pointed at the potholed runways as the cause of the punctures at the airport that have led to some planes skidding off the runways.

The latest incident, which took place a few weeks ago, involved a SafariLink plane carrying 10 passengers which veered off the runway after a tyre burst, leading to the closure of the airport for 30 minutes.

Also read: Back with a bang: Air India returns to Kenya after a 10 year hiatus, domestic and international air passenger traffic on the rise

KCAA Director General Gilbert Kibe

KCAA Director General Gilbert Kibe

Kenya Civil Aviation Authority director-general Gilbert Kibe told the media on Friday that major works on the project will start once local firms with planes exceeding seven tonnes operating at Wilson airport relocate to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).

“The immediate requirement for major rehabilitation at Wilson Airport is Sh350 million. This is what we require for now,” said Mr Kibe.

Wilson Airport.

Wilson Airport.

Mr Kibe, however did not give a specific timeline within which he expects work on the project to be finished.

“We are working with the support of the Kenya Airport sAuthority on this project. They are determined to do it,” he said.

Destinations served from the Airport include Maasai Mara, Mombasa, Amboseli, Lamu, Kilimanjaro Diani, Lokichogio and Nanyuki.