The state has kicked off plans to upgrade Lanet Airstrip located at 81Tanks Battalion barracks, into a modern airport at a cost of Ksh3 billion.
Nation reports that after the upgrade, the airport will cease from being an exclusive for the Kenya Defence Forces, and will be a public utility airport to be used by civilian aircraft.
Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) has already settled on a contractor who will build it, and construction will kick off after the completion of designs and required approvals.
“The upgrade of the Lanet airstrip is set to begin in the next two weeks because the tender has been awarded and the contractor will be on site as soon as possible. The project will be a game changer to the tourism sector and commercial activities in the region,” said Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui as quoted by the daily.
The upgrade could be a plan to bolster the flower industry, in which Nakuru is a key player producing over 70 percent of the flowers for export in the country.
Despite being the main producer, the flowers are transported by refrigerated trucks to Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA). Flower farming in the country is associated with the first family.
The county also banks on the upgraded airport to bolster tourism in destinations such as Lake Nakuru National Park, Hells Gate National Park, Lake Naivasha, Menengai Crater, Lord Egerton Castle, Hyrax Museum, Mount Longonot National Park and Crescent Island.
After completion, the airport will be able to accommodate bigger planes weighing approximately 40 to 100 tonnes for both cargo and passengers.