The new JKIA terminal 1 is truly international!


term 1

Terminal 1A at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is now open. The new Terminal 1A is understated from the outside. It looks small but you will be surprised at how large it is. It is actually a three storey building which is quite spacious. The old airport was designed for an annual capacity of 2.5 million but it currently handles traffic of around 6.5 million. Terminal 1 will increase passenger numbers by 2.5 million per year. Terminal 1A is scheduled to be fully operational in March 2015 but has already been open by Kenya Airways.

kq 2

We had the privilege of touring Terminal 1 and some of the facilities 2 weeks ago. We felt proud to be Kenyan as we felt that the airport had truly become international. It looks international, it feels international and hopefully the service will be to international standards.
Some of the features of the new terminal are

    • 32 check in counters


    • 10 Immigration Counters


    • Self service check-in Kiosks

kq check in

    • Passenger holding lounges
    • Business and CIP lounges including a Spa
    • Segregation of in and outbound passengers with departure gates on level 1 and arrivals on level 2
    • African décor and Kenyan art provided by Kenya museums

painting 2
painting 3
mosaic 2

    • 8 Restaurants providing a variety of cuisine i.e. African , Chinese, pizza, fast food, Kenya coffee/tea, etc


    • 7 Passenger Board bridges ( air bridges)
    • Centralized security screening after immigration ( no secondary screening at gates)
    • Automated baggage handling system

converte belt

    • Remote bus termini on ground floor
    • Modern Duty free expected to stock a variety of products ranging from African to high end brands.


  • Other facilities such as a bookstore, pharmacy, and mini supermarket.

Construction for Terminal 1 begin in 2006. The terminal is the first among other developments at the JKIA. JKIA had not undergone any additional construction after it was built in the later 1970’s. The company constructing the terminal is the Wu Yi Company of China. A consortium of architects Queen’s Quay Architects International Inc and Mueller International Inc are consultants on the project.

The new terminal is also friendly to the disabled as there are evaluators fitted including the air bridges. In the new terminal, all areas that have a staircase, there is an escalator and an elevator fitted this includes the air bridges. They also have disability friendly toilets fitted at all areas and lounges of the new terminal.

The Kenya Airports Authority has also ordered for new buses to go with the terminal. The buses will be used to ferry passengers to various terminals. Plans are also at an advanced stage to get a train that will link up to Syokimao Railway station.
Bus 1

There is also the new Greenfield terminal that is being constructed to increase the annual handling capacity by 20 million. This is aimed at making JKIA the African aviation hub.

Conceived as a hub terminal for efficient connectivity for transiting passengers with a floor area of 178,000 m2, the terminal will be designed as an environmentally sustainable building and be certified by the world green building council using either LEED or Green Star certification processes.

The Greenfield Terminal is set to handle the following traffic:
a) Typical peak hour international: 3133 passengers
b) Typical peak hour transit : 2403 passengers
c) Typical peak hour domestic: 845 passengers

Among other facilities, it will have 50 international and 10 domestic check in positions; 32 contact and 8 remote gates; associated apron with 45 aircraft stands and linking taxiways. Other facilities include: new road, landside retail centres, arrival train station, landside hotel, grade parking, taxiways, Bus Park and a transit hotel.

The ground breaking ceremony for the terminal was in December 2013 and excavation works are ongoing. Greenfield Terminal now Known at JKIA Terminal 3 is expected to be completed in 2017.

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  1. The rest of the airport is a pathetic mess. If you don’t fly KQ (which is most of the passengers going through this airport on other airlines) you will be horrified. They need to ensure the entire place is upgraded in a hurry.