By Rachael Kavumbi
More than six billion shillings would be used to expand Malindi International airport to boost the tourism industry in the coast region.
This was according to a report by the Parliamentary Committee on transport led by the chairman Mohammed Maalim Mahmood who told journalists that the government has been working on the expansion despite the delays of the acquisition of land from the owners.
Speaking at the airport, Mr.Mahmood who is also Mandera East MP noted that already the government has set aside Sh.1.5 billion for the second phase in the 2017/2018 budget to finish the project.
Among the MPs accompanied the chairman were Peter Shehe _Ganze,Mark Lomulokol_Kacheliba in Pokot and Duma Awour _ Nyakach constituencies.
The airport lies on a 100.6 ha with two runways on which the situation has resulted to low arrivals of tourists and the preliminary studies undertaken is to accommodate long haul flights from all over the continent, according to Malindi Airport Manager Walter Agong.
Mr, Agong noted the government has shown the need to expand the 2.45 kilometers run way, a wider runway, wider taxi way and thickening of the runway and taxi way.
"The recommended width of the run way is 45 meters," he stated.
Mr Agong said the acquisition of land will be for the creation of an access road and parking to the new terminal building, protection of the VOR/DME which produces an angle between the station and the receiver in the aircraft which also need to be protected within 300km without metallic object and relocation of meteorological and fire station.
He said in phase one, Sh300m from the government through the National Land Commission would be used to compensate the affected land owners and squatters.
Phase two which is densely populated he said already the ministry of roads and Kenya Rural Roads Authority had agreed to relocate Ganda road at 400meters through the Kenya prison area.