Another record in Kenya: 3.8 km of a runway at a whooping $351 mln!


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Questions emerge over $351m second runway project at the JKIA

MONDAY OCTOBER 30 2017

runway.jpg


The Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. A new runway is expected to increase aircraft movement to 45 per hour from 25. PHOTO | FILE

In Summary

Engineering experts contend the cost is proportional not only to its importance but also the level of engineering works involved (particularly for a modern runway).Kenya has for years been planning the construction of a second runway at JKIA to ease the pressure on the existing one, and ensure the airport meets rising passenger and cargo demand as well as maintaining its position as a regional aviation transportation hub.JKIA is an important regional hub being the third largest in Africa, going by the number of arrivals and departures, which stand at 128 and 130 respectively.


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NJIRAINI MUCHIRA
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How can a 4.8km airport runway cost a whopping $351.8 million? This is the question in the minds of many Kenyans after the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) revived plans to construct a second runway at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

There are good reasons why Kenyans are astonished. Put in perspective, the amount which translates into spending more than $73 million per km (including related costs) on the runway, is more than what Kenya invested in the 50km Nairobi-Thika superhighway, which cost $256 million.

The amount also only falls shy of the $370 million the country spent on the Olkaria IV power project that added 140MW of power to the national grid, and equals the $350 million being invested in the new 458km Nairobi-Mombasa pipeline.

While there is no doubt the JKIA airfield expansion project may seem mindboggling, engineering experts contend the cost is proportional not only to its importance but also the level of engineering works involved (particularly for a modern runway).

More so, that it is being constructed adjacent to an existing runway of a functional airport complicates matters.

“Runways by nature are expensive to build because they must not only guarantee the safety of aeroplanes but must also be able to withstand the weight of the planes,” Britech Consulting Engineers chief executive Peter Scott told The EastAfrican.

He added that building a runway involves digging down as much as three metres and replacing the soil with blasted rock, course gravel, fine gravel, sand and then concrete slabs and asphalt to create a firm foundation.

Rising passenger and cargo demand

Kenya has for years been planning the construction of a second runway at JKIA to ease the pressure on the existing one, and ensure the airport meets rising passenger and cargo demand as well as maintaining its position as a regional aviation transportation hub.

While the idea was first conceived in 2010, it never took off owing to the fact that the government had committed substantial resources to the JKIA expansion project, which included the construction of the aborted $530 million Greenfield terminal.

Besides, efforts to seek financing from several development financial institutions, among them the African Development Bank (AfBD) proved futile.

The project has however been revived after AfDB expressed willingness to finance its construction although the bank’s board is yet to approve the $180 million funding for the runway.

“The government has applied for financing from AfDB towards the cost of JKIA airport second runway development, and intends to use part of the funds to make payments under the contract for monitoring and valuation and technical audit consultancy services,” said KAA in a statement.

KAA is seeking a consultant to carry out an assessment of the impact the project will have on increased air connectivity and trade, tourism and consequent economic growth, regional integration, climate change, air quality, noise monitoring and whether it will provide value for money.

But even before ascertaining its viability, KAA reckons investing in a new runway is critical for Kenya’s main airport, whose passenger and cargo turnover is projected to maintain a steady growth.

The authority, however, remains non-committal on the project, appointed to avoid jeopardising negotiations with AfDB.

“KAA does not want to comment on the project because we are still in negotiations with the AfBD,” said corporate communications manager Angela Tilitei.

Constructed in 1978 to serve about 2.5 million passengers per year, the capacity of JKIA has been increasing over the years and currently stands at 7.5 million passengers.

It is projected to rise to 12 million by 2025. The volume of cargo handled at the airport has also increased significantly to over 20 million tonnes currently.
In deciding to revive the second runway project, KAA wants a facility that can handle the new generation extra wide bodied aircraft like the Airbus A380 and Boeing B747-800, making JKIA attractive to airlines flying into East Africa.

Important regional hub

JKIA is an important regional hub being the third largest in Africa, going by the number of arrivals and departures, which stand at 128 and 130 respectively.
Only OR Tambo International Airport in South Africa and Cairo International Airport in Egypt have more arrivals and departures than JKIA.

JKIA is, however, facing stiff competition from Bole International Airport in Ethiopia, which handles 109 arrival and 105 departures, and Kigali International Airport in Rwanda which was early this year ranked second best airport in Africa and best in East Africa by Canadian travel and hospitality firm Sleeping Airports.

Kenya is also buoyed by JKIA attaining the Category One status that will allowdirect flights to the US.

Other projects that have generated controversy include London Heathrow Airport runway project, where the UK intends to spend $23 billion to construct a third runway — the project is being opposed by environmentalists; and in Tanzania, the government is set to spend $48 million in expanding the Tanga airport runway from the current 1.6 km to 2.5km.

https://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/im...hRes/1796017/-/maxw/600/-/2jlego/-/runway.jpg

MY TAKE

JKIA can never handle more passenger or departures or arrivals so to say than Bole International Airport! That's a daylight lie! Back to the topic this airport runway would probably resist T bombs!
 
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Ukitaka nisisome uzi wako uweke kwa lugha ya kingereza
 
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Nichumu Nibebike

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Kenya needed a second runway years ago! I cant forget the day we were kept at the runway waiting for a parking lot to be found for our aircraft.. It was a pure congestion at the airport.. .
 
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Huchoki Babaaa?
 
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People have been blaming the government for not building a second JKIA runway. To the uninformed mind, they wonder how the government can be unable to build a 4km piece of tarmac.
A runway is not a highway. Google the cost of runways and you'll find out.
For instance, Heathrow is planning for its 3rd highway. Estimated cost = KSh1.2 trillion (£9.3b)
 
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Kenya needed a second runway years ago! I cant forget the day we were kept at the runway waiting for a parking lot to be found for our aircraft.. It was a pure congestion at the airport.. .
I believe the two are not related, are they?!
 
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People have been blaming the government for not building a second JKIA runway. To the uninformed mind, they wonder how the government can be unable to build a 4km piece of tarmac.
A runway is not a highway. Google the cost of runways and you'll find out.
For instance, Heathrow is planning for its 3rd highway. Estimated cost = KSh1.2 trillion (£9.3b)
So JKIA is Heathrow? An airport that anticipate 12 mln PAX in 2025 is putting up a runway of 3.8 km at US 352 mln! Believe me the true cost will be $176 mln!
 
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Hahahahahahah what are you going to do about it
 
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Showing much ignorance huh? Runways must be built of quality material,high standards and extraordinary thickness due to repeat hard pounding by heavy aircraft.Lots of reinforcement steel,specialized lighting & thermoplastic markings.
 
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So JKIA is Heathrow? An airport that anticipate 12 mln PAX in 2025 is putting up a runway of 3.8 km at US 352 mln! Believe me the true cost will be $176 mln!
Jifunze kuelewa. Heathrow inahitaji KSh1.2 trillion. JKIA KSh35 billion.
Kwako wewe unaona ziko ligi moja?
Kwanza hii ya JKIA ni bargain ukilinganisha length.

Proposed Heathrow - 3.2 km
Proposed JKIA - 4.8 km

$176 m ni pesa ya runway ya airstrip.
 
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joshua_ok

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People have been blaming the government for not building a second JKIA runway. To the uninformed mind, they wonder how the government can be unable to build a 4km piece of tarmac.
A runway is not a highway. Google the cost of runways and you'll find out.
For instance, Heathrow is planning for its 3rd highway. Estimated cost = KSh1.2 trillion (£9.3b)
Heathrow is planning for its 3rd "HIGHWAY" or runway?
 
Geza Ulole

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Showing much ignorance huh? Runways must be built of quality material,high standards and extraordinary thickness due to repeat hard pounding by heavy aircraft.Lots of reinforcement steel,specialized lighting & thermoplastic markings.
Uthamaki

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Let me remind you that you are building some 4 lane flyover which is barely half a kilometre long at a cost of ksh 8.8 billion.
Outer - ring road is a 15km, 8-lane elevated highway which was built at a cost of ksh 8.2 billion.
Yet its even more expensive as compared to Thika road, which was built at ksh 600 million per km. This one costed ksh 700 million per kilometre.
 
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You cannot compare a highway and a runway.
A runway is very expensive to build
AC 150/5370-10G - Standards for Specifying Construction of Airports – Document Information

Why do airport runways cost so much to build? Brisbane Airport Corporation reported that a new runway would cost $1.3B and is seven years away.

Building a runway is even more complex than building a major highway/motorway, which has similar demands in terms of the need for an extremely well engineered surface, high levels of quality control in the materials used, and superior drainage. Runways, once constructed, must be capable of being kept in good repair for many years, including periodic removal of accumulated rubber and other foreign matter and at least one or two major resurfacings. However, it also is understood that runways can in effect "wear out" over time, and may require complete removal and replacement with a new multilayered runway in its place.
The most distinguishing characteristic of modern runways, however, is the need for them to accept increasingly heavy aircraft slamming down upon them and taxiing on and off at many points along their length. The Airbus A380 is certificated to take off at a weight of over 1 million pounds. Aircraft weighing well over 100,000 pounds at landing are the norm rather than the exception at major international airports. To handle such incredible loads on a regular basis -- not to mention temperature extremes in many locations that can easily lead to "spalling" (surface erosion) if not accounted for in the materials used -- runways must be built with care and precision.
A notorious instance of lowest-bidder preference (or penny-wise, pound-foolish thinking) some years ago resulted in a fighter base needing virtually an entire runway torn out and replaced when its rebuilt runway started showing serious damage almost immediately upon its re-opening. The winning contractor was later determined to have extensive concrete pouring expertise... unfortunately, said experience was for the most part confined to laying down home patios.
 
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joshua_ok

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Kenya inanuka rushwa
 
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REDEEMER.

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Wanangaika tu bure Mwanza International Airport unaenda kuiua Nairobi Airport sababu wateja wengi wanaotumia uwanja huo wanatoka Congo, Burundi, Tanzania na Uganda which Mwanza is quite closer than Nairobi great airlines like Qatar and Emirates are with the government to make Mwanza International Airport the hub of airtravels in East Africa - Magufuli speech yesterday at Mwanza
 
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kennedy0000

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Wanangaika tu bure Mwanza International Airport unaenda kuiua Nairobi Airport sababu wateja wengi wanaotumia uwanja huo wanatoka Congo, Burundi, Tanzania na Uganda which Mwanza is quite closer than Nairobi great airlines like Qatar and Emirates are with the government to make Mwanza International Airport the hub of airtravels in East Africa - Magufuli speech yesterday at Mwanza
Countries do not become air travel hubs because of their airports, but because of their economy.
You can build a very magnificent airport but if you're still an LDC, it will remain a ghost airport.
The reason JKIA is the main travel hub in East Africa is because Nairobi is the main city in East Africa. From conferences, to the UN, to business... the list is endless.
 

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