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KAA protests ‘invasion’ of runway land

Bernard Gitau @benagitau

A private developer has erected a building allegedly blocking the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) runway.

A letter from Kenya Airport Authority (KAA) opposing Manchester Outfitters on plot LR No 24092, noted such moves put passengers and aircraft at risk.

Public Investments Committee (PIC) also in their report reveals nine other plots have been allocated to private developers, compounding the seriousness of JKIA land grabbing.

 KAA had, 16 years ago, opposed development on the plot but Manchester Outfitters went ahead with constructions.

 The letter signed by KAA managing director M S Muriithi was copied to Manchester Outfitters — a garment manufacturer — and the Commissioner of Lands.

Free from  obstacles

“The above plot lies within the approach funnel to the runway… an area which should be free from obstacles, for the safety of aircraft on approach,” part of the letter read.

“The plot is shown edged in red on the attached plan of the area and in fact, we have already written to the Commissioner of Lands requesting him to revoke any allocation made in this area,” the letter added.

Next to Manchester Outfitters is an iron and steel factory while across the road are other business buildings, including godowns.

The  Auditor General’s report indicates that more than Sh5 billion worth of airport land is in the hands of private developers, a trend termed a setback in the country aviation sector.

The battle is currently before National Land Commission (NLC) which is expected to give their report in February next year after completing investigations on claims the land was illegally acquired.

During a public hearing on the matter, Kenya Civil Aviation Authority said the land adjacent to Wilson Airport was illegally handed to a private developer.

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