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Homa Bay County in conjunction with Kenya Airports Authority is making plans to upgrade the Kabunde Airstrip into a modern airport with a view to boost tourism, business within the region.

According to the Managing Director (KAA) John Anderson, the upgrade will enter phase two of expansion of the runway from the current 1.2kms to 1.7kms, which will further be renovated to 2.7kms to accommodate large traffic.

Initially, the county sought to construct part of the airstrip infrastructure by establishing the airport apron, a terminal building and the airport management authority assured the county governments of their plan to come up with a permanent terminal to meet the required standards for commercial purposes.

“Homa Bay government has taken a bold step of driving this course, showing great commitment as a serious partner. We want to be part of developing this county through our infrastructures,” said Mr. Andersen.

He added the planned upgrade is scheduled to commence in 12 month period after full compensation of land owners.

The state ministry of transport in partnership with Kenya Airports Authority is planning to make progress within two years, upgrading Kabunde into a modern airport facility, which will be officially opened by the state.

“We intend to extend the runway by 1.7kms to allow take-off and landing of bigger planes and our technical team is working in phase two,” said Mr. William Mayiani, the Director KAA

The County Governor H.E Cyprian Awiti expressed joy following the upgrade plans and assured KAA of full obligation by his government.

“Having met the KAA chairman in Nairobi, we are glad to finally get an opportunity to realize the county’s full economic potential through the expected airport upgrade plans,” said Awiti.

When completed, the airport will transform Homa Bay into a business hub.

The county government also earlier during the week, entered into a partnership with Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) with plans to establish a level 5 hospital that will double up as a research center.

“We are grateful for the kind gesture by the state and KAA, because this is a greenlight to investment,” said the Governor

The County Commissioner, Mr.  Kassim Farrah also assured KAA of security in their upgrade plans.

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