Phase one expansion work at the Lichota Airstrip in Migori County is complete and awaiting launching anytime next month.
The beautifully expanded facility is already opened for landing by bigger aircrafts and is fast triggering increased cruise tourism in the region.
Senior Kenya Airport Authority (KAA) official Grace Odhiambo in a statement on the status of the airstrip announced that last touches were being made on the facility before being officially commissioned anytime soon.
Speaking to KNA, Ms. Odhiambo said both stage one and stage two improvement works on the hitherto dilapidated airstrip were budgeted to cost Sh150 million to modernise the facility.
The KAA official said they expected that the facility would handle more than 200 passengers daily, a number she noted would increase once it would be fully operational after the completion of both phases of construction.
Last year, while touring the airstrip on a mission to commission expansion works, the KAA Kisumu Manager Mr. John Kirarei said that the runway would be extended from 1.1kilometre to 1.2kilometres to accommodate bigger airplanes.
It has since been renovated to the required bitumen standards and extended by 0.2 kilometres to achieve the targeted runway distance to accommodate bigger airplanes and more passengers.
However, the construction of a terminal building and all that goes with it and an apron that were included in the phase one works were yet to be put in place.
Ms. Odhiambo said the airstrip has been identified as being viable as it was tacked in a region that serves as an important link between Kenya and Tanzania.
It sits near Migori town, a cosmopolitan urban and the fastest growing towns in Kenya, and most viable commercial centre in the country.
Tourists heading to the world’s popular tourists destinations- Maasai Mara and Serengeti Game Parks and, the World’s heritage archeological site in Migori – Thim Lich Ohinga would have an opportunity to use the improved airstrip and enjoy the fastest means to reach their destinations in Migori and Tanzania.
Located only 5 kilometres from Migori town and 25 kilometers from the Isebania/Sirare border town, the airport is expected to be ideal for the growth of the entire region and important commercial links with neighboring countries.
“We expect the facility to present a quick link to local and international holiday makers heading to popular sites in Maasai Mara and Serengeti parks and the world heritage archeological site in Migori, Thim Lich Ohinga,” said the area County Director in charge of Trade and Tourism portfolio Mr. Daudi Obado.
By George Agimba