Commercial flights to Nyaribo Airstrip, Nyeri from Wilson Airport in Nairobi are expected to begin in July 2021, the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) has announced.
The flight duration is estimated to be 22 minutes, for a distance that normally takes approximately 3 hours to cover by road from Nairobi. The airstrip is a convenient 15 minutes drive from Nyeri town. It is open to any visitors, residents and tradesmen.
The expected operationalization of commercial flights follows the completion of various upgrades at the airstrip. Before the works, the inactive airstrip was used by local farmers for drying maize and grazing cows and goats.
The roads within Nyaribo Airstrip have now been tarmacked, street lights installed and a Sh39 million VIP lounge which doubles up as a clearance area has been completed.
The launch of the flights is expected to boost trade and tourism by making it easier for local and international tourists to visit destinations such as the Mount Kenya National Park and the Aberdares National Park.
Demand would spur investment towards putting up social amenities within the airstrip for passengers, a move that would boost the local economy in the county.
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“We know there has been a delay but we have been able to solve this. Infact many commercial flight companies have applied to be allocated hangers in this facility and we will ensure it becomes a reality.
“We as an authority want to assure Kenyans that they will be able to use this airport commercially starting July,” revealed KAA regional manager in charge of Wilson and northern airports Joshua Okumu.
He added that the project was an advanced stage and would effectively open up the region.
The first commercial flight from Nairobi to Nyeri was undertaken in 2018 as the project started taking shape.
ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru, Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga, Nyeri Deputy Governor Caroline Karugu and Nyeri Town MP Hon Ngunjiri Wambugu among others were the first to board the 11-seater Bush Air Safaris plane.
Ngunjiri stated that locals were already benefitting from the project thanks to skyrocketing prices of commercials plots in the area.
The MP asserted that plans had been put in place to ensure the security of airport users following the creation of the airstrip.
“The national government has posted a new assistant County Commissioner to oversee the security of this area including the new airstrip to ensure residents and visitors will be safe,” he added at the time.