Kenya's new airport to open up northeast region to tourists

Kenya plans to open the northeastern tourist circuit to reap huge returns with the opening of the Isiolo International Airport later this year.

Deputy President William Ruto said the airport, whose construction kicked off in 2013 in northern Kenya, is aimed at unlocking regional economic potentials.

"The airport, once operational, will make this region more accessible as there will be direct flights," Ruto said Sunday during a tour assessing the ongoing construction of the airport.

The new airport, developed and managed by the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA), is Kenya's fifth International Airport and is expected to promote development in the vast region.

The project involves the construction of a Passenger Terminal Building covering a floor area of 4,800 square meters, and with a throughput capacity of 125,000 passengers annually.

Ruto said the airport, the first international airport in northern Kenya, was part of the Lamu Port Southern Sudan and Ethiopia Transport Corridor (LAPSSET), and would open up the region for tourism and business activities among other development projects.

He said the airport will also enable Kenyans to take advantage of the recently launched new trade pact that would create a common market for more than 630 million people in the COMESA-EAC-SADC member countries.

Ruto said the government would continue to improve the business environment by, among other things, boosting security, improving infrastructure and reducing the cost of electricity.

He stressed on the need for residents in the region to help the government tame the problem of terrorism and radicalization of youths.

"It is our responsibility as citizens of this country to participate in the war against terrorist and radicalization of the youth. We should work together with security agents in ensuring law and order round the clock," Ruto said.