More than a year after its originally planned start of construction, Kenyan officials broke ground this past November on the $650-million Greenfield Terminal project at Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi, Kenya. Two Chinese contractors, Anhui Civil Engineering Group (ACEG) and China Aero Technology Engineering International Corp., will lead the construction of the 178,000-sq-meter terminal, designed by Pascall+Watson of London.

Lucy Mbugua, acting managing director with project owner Kenya Airports Authority (KAA), said the new terminal will "increase the [airport's] suppressed growth, which will stimulate other sectors of the economy." KAA is the main operator of Kenya’s airports.

Scheduled for completion in 2017, the Greenfield terminal will feature 50 international check-in counters, eight air bridges for docking aircraft, and 45 aircraft parking stands on the linked apron space. The project will also add a new runway to JKIA. The project was initially slated to start construction in August 2012, but was delayed due to financial constraints and a dispute over awarding the contract to the two Chinese firms.

According to a statement posted on Pascall+Watson’s website, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said during the groundbreaking: "We want to make Jomo Kenyatta International Airport the most convenient, comfortable and secure airport in Africa, and make Kenya the most attractive air hub in the continent."

The Export Import Bank of China (ExIm) is financing $550 million of the terminal project's cost, with KAA funding the remainder. According to Pascall+Watson's website, the terminal is designed as an elongated X concept.

To meet demand while the Greenfield terminal is being constructed, the airport awarded Roder HTS Hocker GmbH of Germany a $26.7-million contract to erect a 10,000-sq-m temporary terminal that can accommodate up to 1,600 passengers per hour. The African Development Bank and the World Bank are funding this project.

KAA also is planning to refurbish three of JKIA's existing terminal's passenger arrival and departure areas, as well as construct a 5.5-kilometer runway to accommodate direct long-haul flights.

Additionally, KAA is nearing completion of a fourth passenger arrival and departure section measuring 404,000 sq ft, at a cost of $111.8 million. This project, funded by the International Development Association and Agencie Francaise de Development, will accommodate 2.5 million passengers annually and add 1,500 parking spaces.