The reconstruction of the Nanyuki Airstrip is in top gear with the completion of a 1.5km runway and two aprons expected to be completed by October this year.
Works at the busy airstrip had stalled after the contractor who had initially been awarded the contract was unable to deliver forcing the Government to award the tender to another contractor.
The construction will also include a taxiway and that will accommodate bigger planes with a carrying capacity of up to 52 passengers compared to the current situation where only planes with a capacity of 14 can land or take off from the airstrip.
Speaking during an inspection tour on the progress of the work Kenya Airports Authority Wilson Airport and Northern Region Airports Manager Joseph Okumu said the project will cost over 300Million shillings and will open up the region for tourism and trade.
Okumo said that Laikipia and other neighbouring counties are major tourist destinations and this will ease transport to the County.
He noted that once the airfield is complete more operators are will willing to introduce daily trips to Nanyuki with the Airstrips expected to rival Wilson and Ukunda in terms of domestic flights.
At the same time he said that they have already awarded operators spaces for hangers and will develop them once the refurbishment is complete.
Laikipia Tourism CEC Biwott Tirop said the reconstruction of the Airstrip by KAA is a milestone in the tourism and trade sectors in the region.
Tirop said that cheap, quick and reliable transport is a key driver in growth of the economy and the combination of Air travel, the Railway to Nanyuki and the construction of the Kenol – Marua dual carriage road will see more investors going to the North.
Nanyuki Airstrip Manager David Kyule said engineers at the Airstrip are assembling planes locally and so far they have been able to assembly four planes including an Airbus Helicopter owned by Tropic air one of the earliest operators at the airfield.