A team of aviation experts from the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) and Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) have issued the green light for operations to begin at the Isiolo International Airport after conducting a final assessment tour of the facility.
Led by the Managing Director of Kenya Airports Authority Johny Andersen and the Director General, Kenya Civil Aviation Authority Captain Gilbert Kibe, the team expressed their satisfaction with the progress of the Airport construction and declared it fit to begin operations.
Following this development, the facility is now awaiting President Kenyatta’s availability to officially open it to allow the various Airlines to begin ferrying goods and passengers to and from Isiolo.
KAA Managing Director Johny Andersen said that the team was really impressed to see that the terminal and its surroundings were up to the set standard. He said that the facility was a step forward for both the County and the Country, adding that he expected commercial flights to begin in February.
Mr Andersen cited the installation of a proper public address system for use in case there was need to evacuate the buildings and appropriate marking of emergency exit routes for the same purpose as some of the areas that need improvement before operations begin.
Regarding the issue of staff recruitment, Mr Andersen said that the Airports Authority will only look for qualified personnel for all the jobs that will be advertised for Isiolo Airport, adding that Isiolo people will also be considered for the various positions.
He rated the new facility as one of the best, adding that it drew comparison with the best in Europe where he hails from.
Kenya Civil Aviation Authority Director General Captain Gilbert Kibe said that they have already received applications from several airlines that wish to begin operations, most of which he said were dealing with cargo transportation especially for perishable products.
He said that the transportation cost of crops like Miraa will be reduced since the Airport is only twenty Kilometres from Meru, where the crop is grown.
The Air travel regulator said that he expected a return ticket to Nairobi from Isiolo to cost the passenger approximately between Kshs 5,000 to Kshs 8,000.
Isiolo County governor Godana Doyo said that the Isiolo Airport will be a great asset for both Isiolo and the neighbouring Counties, adding that it will be the main catalyst to economic development in the region.
He expressed optimism that the people of Isiolo will also meet the requirements by the Kenya Airports Authority to be considered for formal employment, adding that the airport is also likely to come with a host of other job opportunities such as the Taxi businesses that will provide more jobs for local people.