The runway at Kabunde Airstrip in Homa Bay. | image source: facebook.com/OfficialHomabayCounty |
Kabunde Airstrip in Homa Bay County is ready to receive commercial flights after engineers and officials from Fly540, Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) and the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) gave it a clean bill of health following an inspection.
In a statement by County Government of Homa Bay which was shared on their official Facebook feed, the County expects the new development to spur economic growth in the area as well for neighbouring counties.
“We are very excited. This is what we have all been waiting for. The flights to Homa Bay will open up massive business opportunities in the county since the facility will also serve the neighbouring counties of Migori, Kisii, Nyamira and Bomet. Our people will no longer rush to catch flights in Kisumu,” Homa Bay Deputy Governor Hamilton Orata, who was representing the area Governor Cyprian Awiti, said as he welcomed the visiting engineers at the Airstrip.
Despite being cleared to received commercial flights, the inspecting recommended that the County Government makes additional improvements to the facility ahead of a final inspection which will be carried out on January 27.
KCAA’s Chief Aerodrome’s Inspector, Eng. Peter Munyao and Eng. Julius Wagai who is in-charge of Airstrips at the Kenya Airports Airports Authority made an extensive inspection of the Kabunnde Airstrip and declared it 80 per cent ready for commercial flights.
“We will clear the Airstrip to start receiving commercial flights once a few things are put in place. We have also recommended that the runway be extended to enable the Airstrip accommodate bigger planes,” said Mr Wagai.
The officials want a few trees around the airstrip to be cut down, a section of the compound the airstrip is in to be murramed and a temporary lounge to be set up.
“The trees will come down. The fence will be reinforced and a pavilion will be erected to enable the Fly 540 to commence their lights to Homa Bay,” Orata added as he promised that the County Government will embark on the remaining works with immediate effect.
Fly540 also announced that it will make it maiden flight to Homa Bay in a month’s time.
The Fly 540 Director for Corporate and Industry Affairs, Mr Nixon Ooko said that they have prepared an Aircraft for the Homa Bay route and were just waiting for a green light from the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority .
“We are ready for Homa Bay. We will offer competitive rates and we are likely to start with three flights a day and thereafter make it more frequent even Daily, depending on the demand,” said Mr Ooko.