Kisumu international airport is the busiest airport in Western Kenya and the third busiest airport in Kenya and the country’s fourth international airport, it is seen as a direct link to the rest of the world and is set to open the region’s potential in terms of tourism development.The Airport renovations and expansion ,which started in 2008 and cost the Exchequer sh 3.3 billion is among the top eight busiest regional airport in East Africa, with chartered flights coming in from as far afield as Europe.
The completed airport has a new modern look, a new terminal building that has enhanced immigration and security features, a modern control tower,spacious visitor lounges, ample parking spaces, restaurants, space for tour operators,the passenger, cafeteria, VIP lounge and offices alongside a parallel taxiway, a cargo apron. information booths and a runway that can allow large air-crafts to take off and land with ease.
The airport is also expected to start handling cargo .Currently, fish and flowers for export from the region are transported to Nairobi by road. Resulting in heavy losses in terms of the lost, wastage and added transportation coasts.
The airport has been undergoing a 3-year expansion project that saw its runway extended from 2 km to 3.3 km. This means now Kisumu Airport will be able to handle big jumbos with ease,it now has the capacity to receive large airliners, craft such as Boeing 767 or Airbus 300 and 310. The new terminal, completed at a cost of Kshs. 3 billion.The new airport can now comfortably handle an estimated 700 persons per hour and translating to at least 2 million traffic per year up from the current traffic of 300,000. .
Before the expansions and the renovations, the airport handled over 10 flights daily including scheduled, chartered and non scheduled arrivals and departures. Now with the new developments, from the beginning of September 2011, the airport has been handling more than 16 flights daily.
Currently the airport has three international routes –Kisumu,-Addis Ababa, Kisumu-Entebe and Kisumu-Musoma, Kisumu-Mwanza. direct flights from South Africa to Kisumu were operational by the end of March 2012.
President Kibaki accompanied by Prime Minister Raila Odinga officially opened the much –awaited Kisumu international Airport in February 2012.