Free WIFI, rain canopies among new features in JKIA’s planned facelift

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) is set to undergo an extreme makeover as the government seeks to improve service delivery and customer experience to give it an edge over competitors in the East African region and beyond.

Roads and Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen, who made the announcement on Tuesday, did not disclose how much taxpayers will have to pay for the improvements.

The planned improvements will be spearheaded by a service charter that will bring together all agencies operating at JKIA under one roof to provide “seamless” services to passengers.

The charter, which CS Murkomen says will be signed by the end of this month, will bring together the sector’s government agencies – Immigration, Customs, Police, Port Health and the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) – under the leadership of the Kenya Airport Authority (KAA).

The planned improvements include the installation of state-of-the-art security scanners and the use of the Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) to provide advance information to passengers “for greater efficiency”.

The state-of-the-art scanners will be used to extend screening at the entrance to the airport’s Passenger Screening Yard (PSY) to ensure that passengers do not have to get out of their vehicles to go through the process, as is currently the case.

The technology will also facilitate passenger self-checking to speed up movement, immigration services and also improve airport entry.

There is also a need to ensure that the car parking company increases the number of entry and exit gates at JKIA.

The number of hand-held baggage scanners will also be increased to speed up the process and ensure that only suspicious and marked bags are opened by Customs officials for further examination.

To improve service delivery, Mr Murkomen revealed that KAA will provide canopies at the airport to cover passengers when it rains and will work with the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) to improve drainage.

The government is also committed to providing free WIFI facilities and more charging points at the airport, while it will increase the number of breastfeeding cabins at the facility and revamp them to make them more comfortable for breastfeeding mothers.

The CS further noted that the government is committed to ensuring that the prices and quality of goods offered by concessionaires such as restaurants are good and up to standard.

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