Isiolo International Airport Boosts Economic Activities in Northern Kenya after Upgrade

Isiolo International Airport the expected game changer in the Northern parts of Kenya.

The airport, which has undergone a KSh 2.7 billion upgrade, is set to increase the economic activities and tourism in Isiolo, neighboring counties, and countries.

The Isiolo International Airport sits on close to 260 hectares of land and has a passenger terminal building that covers 4500 square meters. It is a civilian airport, which is approximately 250km from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Kenya’s largest civilian airport.

The five largest international airports in Kenya include

  • Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Nairobi
  • Moi International Airport Mombasa
  • Kisumu International Airport
  • Eldoret International Airport

Property markets located in Isiolo County and the neighboring Meru County are expected to flourish the most after the completion of Isiolo Airport. According to the County Commissioner, there are numerous investors that have already shown interest with the county as well areas around the Isiola town. Once the airport becomes fully operational, land prices around the region are anticipated to rise at a very high rate.

According to the Transport Principal Secretary, we should expect Isiolo Airport (also referred to as Isiolo International Airport) to become fully operational in the next two weeks. Currently, they are completing the final works on the runway that is close to 1.4 kilometers. This last bit of work has been estimated to take around five to seven days.

Isiolo International Airport to handle about 350,000 passengers

In a recent inspection tour, the kenya’s Transport Principal Secretary gave a nod to the facility to start its operation. However, this was only for domestic flights. In this tour, the principle Secretary had been accompanied by Isiolo County Commissioner and the Kenya Airport Authority (KAA) managing director. The Principal Secretary said that Isiolo Airport, which had cost an estimate of 2.7 billion, would be able to handle close to 350,000 passengers every year.

Isiolo International Airport had been scheduled to commission its operations earlier this year however that never happened because the runway pavements took an unexpectedly long time to complete due to poor drainage. The Principal Secretary said that a lot of investments had been put in place for the construction of this facility and that it is now ready to start operation.

The airport is almost complete apart from a few remedial works such as providing an effective drainage for the runway.

Kenyan Airlines operating in Isiolo Airport


Four airlines that are expected to start operating in this facility are inclusive of a Jambojet, Fly 540, Air Kenya, and Kenya Airways. The Principle Secretary has said that Fly 540 has already booked its ticket office at Isiolo International Airport and that the airline will start providing services once the facility becomes operational.

Promoting economic growth in Isiolo and neighboring counties

Isiolo International Airport, which is among Kenya’s Vision 2030, is anticipated to help promote the economic growth of the region and would also unlock the economic potential of both regions as well as the neighboring pastoral’s region.

Meru County, Isiolo County, and Marsabit County are among the seven counties that are expected to benefit highly from this facility as they are would be exporting Khat (Miraa) and animal products. Others include the exporters of French beans and flowers from Meru, Timau, Nyeri and neighboring farms. This facility would as well help to improve tourism in these Counties as it would be in a position to handle both international and local flights.

In addition, the Isiolo Airport will play an important role in linking the region to the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSET) transport corridor.


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