Business / Companies

Chinese firm to expand Kenyan airport

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-12-04 11:10

KISUMU, Kenya - A Chinese firm has won a $6 million contract to expand an international airport in Western Kenya, officials said Wednesday.

China Overseas Engineering Group Company (COVEC) will begin works on the second phase of expansion of the Kisumu International Airport.

Kisumu Airport Manager Joseph Okumu said modernization of the airport by the Chinese company will enable it to accommodate bigger planes as it will make the airport a busy transport hub connecting the country to the wider Eastern African region.

Okumu told Xinhua in Kisumu that the expansion, expected to take 13 months, will spur economic growth in the Western Region. He said the expansion project will also increase the strength of the runway at the airport, which will be increased from 45 to 60 meters.

Economic and Commercial Counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Kenya, Guo Ce, said Kenya has remained the top tourist destination in Africa for Chinese people. Guo said with the opening-up of Western Kenya region through putting up infrastructures to accommodate large planes, tourism sites in the region will attract more Chinese people.

"Most Chinese people have been visiting Maasai Mara, but with the expansion of the airport, bigger planes will come here and Chinese people will visit this region in droves," he said.

The Kisumu airport, which is the fourth busiest airport in Kenya, has facilities that include a modern apron, a new terminal building and access roads as well as parking lot to cater for about 1,500 vehicles.

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