Shame of idle Isiolo airport

Isiolo airport that is key to opening up Northern Kenya and also reducing the congestion of transporting miraa through Nairobi remains unused, two years on with sh2.7 billion sunk into it.

It cannot transport miraa directly to Somalia because it has a short runway of only 1.4 kilometers, against a minimum requirement of 3 kilometers. One wonders why this was the case, unless the decision was informed by future entrepreneurial thinking of government bureaucrats.

As a result, it is idle, and the Kenya Aviation Authority has also not posted air traffic controllers to the facility due to low traffic.

Only small chartered aircrafts use the facility, denying the region including Meru, Marsabit, Isiolo and Laikipa Counties, a game-changer opportunity that would turn their economies.

If a produce like Miraa which a few kilometers from the airport is, were to be considered as the main economic activity, then flights can easily leave to Somalia and potentially open new markets like Kuwait and Yemen.

The airport is a flagship project of the Lamu Port South Sudan and Ethiopia Transport corridor (LAPSSSET) which was also expected to boost tourism.

If the airport were to be used today, miraa would first need to be transported to Wilson airport a cost of sh200, 000 against the current cost of using pick ups of sh50, 000, an easy decision for farmers to choose the means.


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