Nairobi airport terminal 4 to open in July

Opening of new terminal postponed again

The new Terminal 4 at Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International airport is due to open to passengers on 4 July, according to transport secretary Michael Kamau who said the terminal's construction was "nearing completion." The opening of the $653 million terminal should ease pressure on the current departures unit at Terminal 1 and will see the end of the car park at Terminal Four being used as an arrivals hall.

Progress has been slow at the new terminal whose opening has been postponed several times already, from late last year to early this year, and now to July. The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) says the delays relate to procurement issues with duty free shops as well as organising baggage handling facilites.

The new 178,000 sqm building will have modern fire fighting equipment, the lack of which led to the fire that gutted much of the arrivals hall last August. Currently travellers passing through the airport have to use makeshift facilities and many are left standing due to lack of seats.

However the new terminal will be able to handle 20 million passengers, three times the existing passenger flow through the airport. Built in the 1970s, the current terminal building has a capacity of 2.5 million passengers instead of the 6.5 million people it handles each year, according to the KAA.

The new terminal will feature 50 international and ten domestic check-in points, a railway terminal and a bus park. Construction work is being carried out by Chinese firms Civil Engineering Group (ACEG) and China National Aero-Technology International Engineering Corporation (CATIC).