The Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) has on Thursday (23/02/17) achieved the Category One status that will enable direct flights between Kenya and the US.
The Airport achieved the status with today’s unveiling of the new Terminal 1E, which now enables the facility to separate arriving and departing passengers.
After an eight year wait, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted Nairobi the top status after carrying out thorough audits in the country.
“Getting [the] Category One status for us is a major milestone in the growth and development of civil aviation in Kenya, East Africa and rest of Africa,” said Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia.
“The granting of this status means that airline operators, both in Kenya and US, which have long desired to operate directly to or from the US, will now be allowed to carry on their operations,” he added.
According to the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA), the modern Terminal 1E will serve as the International Arrivals terminal.
It has the capacity to handle 2.5 million passengers every year.
“At the moment, the airport’s parking garage serves as a temporary international arrivals terminal. Separation of the arriving and departing passenger is a key security requirement under international aviation standards,” read a statement from KAA.
Also unveiled was a new security screening yard at the entrance of JKIA, a state-of-the-art facility fitted with modern security equipment that is one of its kind in Africa.
The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) had previously (September 17 and 24, 2015) audited JKIA and given an 88 per cent score, placing it above the 80 per cent mark required for any airport to attain the Category One status.
This was after failing in previous assessments where ICAO gave JKIA 78.42 per cent February last year, up from 66 per cent in 2013.