Kenya - 2.2.1 Jomo Kenyatta International Airport

Airport Overview 

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) is Kenya’s largest aviation facility and the busiest airport in east and central Africa. It serves as a transit hub for major airlines as well as the gateway for visitors to other Africa's airports. The airport also serves as a major cargo centre for both inbound and outbound goods. The Government of Kenya, in its Vision 2030, recognises that an improved and expanded airport infrastructure is critical to the realization of the long-term development aspiration of the Country. In line with its vision, the proposed modernization and expansion of the JKIA is aimed at strengthening the competitive position of the airport as a regional logistical hub and a key gateway into East and Central Africa. The airport currently operates a single runway, which was developed in 1978, and whose configuration is undermining operational efficiency at the airport in terms of delays to aircraft movements at peak hours. 


Airport Location and Contact 


Country Kenya.   


Embakasi sub- County in Nairobi County 

Nearest Town or City  
with Distance from the Airport 

Nairobi City 18 km to the Airport  


Airport’s Complete Name 

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport 


Latitude -1°19'5.40" S  


Longitude 36°55'23.39" E 

Elevation (ft and m) 

5,327 Feet above sea level 

IATA Code 


ICAO Code 


Managing Company or Airport Authority 

Kenya Airports Authority 

Management Contact Person 

Alex Gitari, MD and CEO, Kenya Airports Authority 

Open From (hours) 


Open To (hours) 

00:00 Hrs 


Airport Picture 


  1. Former International Arrivals 

  1. Terminal 1A International arrivals and departures. 

  1. Terminal 1B International Departures. 

  1. Terminal 1C International Departures. 

  1. Terminal 1D Domestic flights terminal. 

  1. Terminal 1E International Arrivals. 

  1. Terminal 2. 


Description and Contacts of Key Companies 

  1. Kenya Civil Aviation Authority 

Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) is a state corporation of Kenya that is responsible for regulating the aviation industry in Kenya and for providing air navigation services in the Kenya flight region. The agency maintains its headquarters in the Aviation Building at the junction entry to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Embakasi, Nairobi. It plans, develops, manages, regulates, and operates a safe, economically sustainable, and efficient civil aviation system in Kenya, in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Aviation Act, of 2013. It offers training in the aviation professions through its affiliated East African School of Aviation 

  1. Kenya Association of Air Operators, 

The Kenya Association of Air Operators, was established to promote, foster, and protect the interests of those engaged in civil aviation or associated industries in Kenya It represents the interest of all licensed commercial air operators and other authorised bodies engaged in the Aviation industry based in Kenya. 

  1. 748 Air Services Ltd 

The airline was established in 1995 by Ahmed Rashid Jibril, its first managing director. The airline is used on a charter basis for relief and humanitarian organizations operating in remote areas of Sudan, currently what is South Sudan, Somalia, East Africa, and Central Africa. 

  1. Kenya Airways Ltd 

The company’s principal activity is providing international, regional, and domestic carriage of passengers and cargo by air. It also provides ground handling services to other airlines and the handling of import and export cargo. The group operates domestic flights and flies to 42 destinations in Africa, Middle East, Asia, and Europe. As of 31 March 2008, the group had 24 aircraft in operation, either owned or on operating leases. 

  1. Astral Aviation  

This is a cargo airline based in Nairobi, Kenya. It was established in November 2000 and started operations in January 2001. It operates scheduled and non-scheduled/ad hoc cargo charters to regional destinations in Africa and to Liege in Belgium. 

  1. African Express Airways 

This is a short-haul airline, which caters to business and leisure travellers and operates daily departures. It also has an Associate Jet Aircraft Maintenance Company located near its head offices. Jet Aircraft Maintenance Ltd is a firm specialising in jet aircraft maintenance, which ranges from 'A' to 'B', 'C' and 'D' checks for most medium-range aircraft of Western manufacture. 

  1. Bluebird Aviation Limited 

 Incorporated in 1992, the Company operates scheduled, non-scheduled, and ad hoc air charter services within the East and Central African region with special emphasis on Eastern Africa. The company is a member of the Kenya Association of Air Operators, an umbrella body that champions the interests of aviation in Kenya. 

  1. Tradewinds Aviation Services  

With the primary responsibility of Passenger satisfaction, among other duties, the Company team offers services at Check-in, arrivals, and transit special and VIP services, Meet and Greet Services Assistance with baggage Handling and Security. 

9. Swissport Kenya Ltd 

Missing narrative 

Information on some aviation service providers can be found at:  


Passenger and Cargo Performance Indicator 

JKIA has two terminals. Terminal 1 is arranged in a semi-circular orientation and is divided into four parts: 1A, 1B, 1C, and 1E are used for international arrivals and departures while terminal 1D is used for domestic departures and arrivals. Terminal 2 is used by low-cost carriers. The original terminal, sometimes referred to as Old Embakasi Airport is located on the north side of the runway and is used by the Kenya Defence Forces. 

Figures from KAA indicate that the airport's Terminal 1-A has a capacity of 2.5 million passengers. The Kenyan government is targeting over 25 million passengers annually by 2025 on the expansion of JKIA's terminals. In 2022/2023, JKIA accounted for more than 66 per cent of overall passenger traffic in the country. It also had over 7 million passengers pass through it. 

JKIA has a Cargo capacity of 1.2M tonnes, including 9,000m² of cold room facilities. 


Performance for 2022/2023 


Per Year 

Per Month 

Per Day 

Total Aircraft Movements 




Total Passengers 




Total Capacity of the Airport (MT) 

1.2 million 


Current Activity of the Airport (MT) 




Total aircraft movement by UNHAS 






The current runway is 60 metres wide and 4.2 kilometres long and can handle the new generation wide-bodied aircraft like the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 747-8 as per ICAO code. The present runway is only lit at the sides.  In January 2017, a new instrument landing system-equipped runway of 5,500 metres (18,000 ft) in length was approved for construction at a cost of KES 37 billion shillings (approximately US$370 million) The runway could enable long-haul flights to destinations like New York City carrying up to 32 tonnes of passengers and cargo. The plan was later halted to pave the way for the high-priority project. 

Runway #1 

Runway Dimensions 

4,117 X 45(m) 




All-weather asphalt that meets ICAO standards 


Helicopter Pad(s) 

Helipad #1 



Largest Helicopter that can Land 

MI-26 (no limit) 

Width and Length (m) 





JKIA has no designated helipad. However, helicopters land and park in movement areas designated for fixed-wing aircraft. The Ground Flight Safety controllers will provide guidance when in need.  

Wilson Airport is the preferred airport for smaller helicopters and those operating in domestic sectors. 


Airport Infrastructure Details 

The current runway is 60 metres (200 ft) wide and 4.2 kilometres (2.6 mi) long. This is an ICAO code F which can handle the new generation wide-bodied aircraft like the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 747-8. The current runway is only lit at the sides. The runway will also enable long-haul flights to destinations like New York City carrying up to 32 tonnes of passengers and cargo. 

The main entrance to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is on Airport South Road, which can be accessed by an exit from the A109 highway (Mombasa Road). As well as the new 2022 expressway which can connect travellers to the airport with no turns or traffic from the city. 




JET A-1 fuel 




AVGAS 100 


Terminal Building 


Single Point Refuelling 


Passenger Terminal 


Air Starter Units 


Cargo terminal 


Ground Power (mobile) 


Pax Transport to Airfield 


Ground Handling Services 


Control Tower 


Latrine Servicing 


Weather Facilities 


Fire Fighting Category (ICAO) 


Catering Services 


De-icing Equipment 


Base Operating Room 


Parking Ramp Lighting 


Airport Radar 


Approach & Runway Lights 











Airport Operating Details 

Operating Details 

Maximum Sized Aircraft that can be Offloaded on Bulk Cargo 

An-124 (no limit) 

Maximum Sized Aircraft that can be Offloaded on Pallet 

No limit 

Total Aircraft Parking Area (m²) 

3,600 m² plus 40,000 m² on the remote parking area 

Storage Area (m3 and MT) 

Cubic Meters (m³) and 250,000 MT. 


Handling Equipment 


/Hi Loaders,  


Max Capacity (MT) 

20 mt 

Max Height 


Max for 747 nose off/loading 

Loading Ramps 

Yes; (SKL – 16, KAHL – 6, AFS -1) 


Other Comments 



Customs Guidance 

Customs assesses duty payable depending on the value of the goods and the duty rate applicable before releasing them from Customs; except goods qualifying for special privilege according to the laws and regulations, whereby their duties and taxes are exempted. To import any goods such as cars or machinery requires the engagement of a customs clearing agent who will process the import documentation through Kenya Customs electronically on the Simba 2005 system and clear the goods on behalf of the importers. An import declaration fee (IDF) of 2% of the Customs Value is payable. When engaging with your preferred clearing agent ensure you always have: 1. Import Declaration Forms (IDF). 2. Customs declaration (Entry). 3. A Certificate of Conformity (CoC) from the PVoC agent for regulated products. 4. An import standard mark (ISM) when applicable. 5.  Valid Commercial invoices from the exporting firm. 6 Valid pro forma invoices from the exporting firm. The customs clearing agent is then allowed to declare the goods you are importing on the customs portal known as SIMBA. 

For more information on customs in Kenya, please see the following link: 


Storage Facilities 

JKIA has four cargo facilities with a capacity to handle 1.2 million tons. Currently, the airport handles more than 300,000 tons of cargo annually. The airport has an animal holding facility measuring 4,318.95ft. 

Forklift (1,350kg) with crane attachment. Railway siding at aerodrome Animal holding station. 

Veterinary treatment room with Vaccination Bay, Carcass disposal pit and Day-old chick’s room. 

Key Service Providers 

1. Kenya Airfreight Handling Limited – KAHL 

The export and import area measures 85,720 sq. ft. 

The main cold room measures 5,200 sq. ft and the export cold room measures 262 sq. ft. 

The cold room capacity is 100,000 tonnes and the temperatures are -18° and 2°C. 

The fresh produce area measures 33,133 sq. ft 

KAHL occupies 9,352 sq. ft of its office space and the remaining space within KAHL is 
occupied by different operators. 

Also available at KAHL is a strong room, banking facility, business centre and 642 motor vehicle parking slots and communication facilities through intercom and telephone extensions. 

2. Transglobal Cargo Centre 

Transglobal Cargo Centre is a multi-purpose facility, the only one of its kind in East Africa, which was designed and built to the highest specifications and requirements of a modern air cargo and freight operation. We are situated in the heart of the Specialized Freight Area of JKIA, Nairobi Kenya. 


One-level customs bonded warehouse for 140 vehicles. 

One level custom bonded warehouse for 165 vehicles at showroom standards • One level warehouse for goods in bond for export and import 

Pre-delivery inspection preparation facilities for vehicles 

Total area of 18,000 sq. ft – gazetted (Kenya Gazette) transit shed, fully secured with masonry walls, ample loading, and offloading ramps, fully equipped with cargo racking, lifting, and moving equipment. 

Two-chamber cold store with independent temperature controls – total area of 1,000 sq. ft – will be expanded soon • Security cage for high-risk items. 

General storage with racking 

Protected by a “state-of-the-art” security system • 5 doors of office space for airline customers. 

Standby generator 

Ample parking for staff and clientele 



Ramp and aircraft handling, physical checks on weight, size and condition of cargo, build-up and breakdown of pallets, pallet transfer (air/air), storage, labelling, ULD control, air waybill issuance, proof of delivery, manifests, pre-manifests, documents collection, dangerous goods check, live animals’ acceptance, security escort of cargo and mail (un-armed and armed), other physical and documents handling, x-ray of cargo, trucking (on request). 


Transglobal Cargo Centre, 
Transglobal Towers – Freight Terminal 
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport 
P.O. Box: 11364-00400, Nairobi, Kenya 
Tel. No: +254-(020)827069, 827108, 827188 Fax No: +254-(020) 827128 

3. Kenya Airways Cargo Centre 

The facility is situated at the JKIA’s Freight Area on a six-acre site. It is owned by Kenya Airways. 


The export area measures 62,969 sq. ft. 

The import area measures 62,969.4 sq. ft. 

The cold room measures 7,459.46 sq. ft. 

The cold room has a maximum capacity of 100,000 tonnes i.e., 60 pallets 
and their temperatures are at 4°C. 

Also available at KQ Cargo Centre is a strong room, banking facility, boardroom, and conference facility. 120 motor vehicle parking slots, master cargo handling computer system, power backup generator and catering facility 

Communication is through intercom, telephone, and radio. 

4. Siginon Freight 

Siginon Aviation was established in Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in 1997. The scope of services includes air cargo handling, ground handling and ramp handling. 

Siginon Aviation operates 2 air cargo terminals in Kenya, located in Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi and Eldoret International Airport (EIA) in Eldoret. In 2014, Siginon Aviation relocated its services to a new state of the art air cargo terminal with direct access to the JKIA airside. 

Credentials: IATA, IGHC and certified as compliant in; ISO 90001: 2008, ISAGO, RA3 and a KCAA regulated agent. 
Facilities in JKIA Nairobi: 

Perishable Cargo Handling Facilities: 

Provided for an express lane for BUPs. 

1000 SQM floor space 

1000 tons weekly throughput 

Offloading area at 10 degrees/storage at 2 degrees 

Cool corridor Storage area for 80 built up units. 

Fitted with truck dock levellers and elevating workstation. 

Provision for future expansion – an extra 3000 SQM/3000 tons weekly throughput 

General Cargo Handling Facilities: 

Annual throughput – 60,000 tons 


ULD positions – 38 positions 

Rack position – 1034 positions 

Total floor space at 5000SQM. 

Basement storage of 2000SQM mainly for transit vehicles 

Specialised storage area for DGR, valuables, temperature sensitive cargo oversize cargo. 

Storage available 60 units of palletized cargo 

Office floor space – 3000SQM on 3 floors for Commercial bank, Government Agencies and customer airlines and limited industry players 

Designed to allow minimal physical handling of cargo. 

Siginon Aviation Contacts: 
1. Siginon Cargo Centre 
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport -Nairobi 
T: +254 (0)20 2636764/ 07 22 20 50 04 

2. Siginon Cargo Centre 
Eldoret International Airport – Eldoret 
T: +254 (0)53 22710 

5. Swissport Cargo Complex 

Direct access to airside – closed-off land side entrance with customs gantry 10,400m2 warehouse floor, incl. 400m2 temperature-controlled build-up area for perishables and 350m2 dedicated space for consolidation of other fresh produce 4 separate cold rooms with storage of up to 75 main deck units providing flexibility & redundancy. 

Landside truck dock of 115m wide and 15m deep for all acceptance / delivery with 15 x 40 ft truck positions (9999996 equipped with dock levellers) + 1 x 20 ft dolly dock for acceptance of pre-built units’ specifications (9999991) 

Full donkey & slave pallet concept, providing highest operational flexibility and an emission-free environment, all electric equipment. 

6 x 10ft scissors lift workstations, 3 sets of 3 lanes, bi-directional, semi-automated airside. 

Interfaces, each lane having a capacity of max 2 x 10 ft + 1 x 15 ft ULD’s. 

Dedicated strong room incl. vault (99999964m2), DGR storage (999999167m2) and high-value storage (99990m2) 

1,280 Import / Export Euro pallet storage positions 

Automated data capturing & real-time inventory control on Cargo Spot IT platform by means of Handheld Terminals 

3-zone security concept providing strict separation of cargo & people flow – highly restricted access to warehouse 

No structural separation of Import and Export area within the warehouse optimizes usability of available floor space during peak times. 

Fully covered by CCTV system (99999950 cameras) incl. digital recording (99999930-day retention) • X- ray screening machines, metal detection machine and handheld detectors on site • Empty ULD storage directly adjacent to warehouse 

Offices for Customs and other Government authorities on site 

5 parking positions for wide-body full freighters directly outside the warehouse 

2,400m2 office space of which 2,000m2 is for third parties (airlines, GSA’s, clearing & forwarding companies) 

Banking facilities on site 

6. Animal Holding Station 

The Animal Holding Station is administered by KAA. The station occupies an area of 4,318.95 sq. ft 

Receiving of live animals from airlines 

Watering and feeding within individuals kennels. 

Walking of animals (dogs) in the quarantine area 


Physical examination of the animals 

Tariffs, based on individual animals, e.g., size, services, rendered and duration of stay. 

Mandatory Requirements 

Import license (permit) to enter the country. 

A health certificate (must be from country of origin) Export permit (official from the government body) 

In the case of dogs and cats, a valid vaccination record MUST accompany the animal. 

NB: Animals without the above documents shall be retained at the quarantine area at the expense of the owner. 


All wildlife must be authorized by relevant wildlife authorities to move. No animal shall be allowed to transit or enter without CITES, export permit and certificate of origin. 

Specialized Freight Area 

JKIA has an exclusive earmarked freight area which has fourteen (99999914) Pack Houses with pre-cooling and processing facilities for cut flowers, fruits, and other fresh produce. At JKIA, we strive to ensure that perishables are handled at a strategically dedicated area within the airport next to the cargo terminals. 

Ramp Handling Companies 

Kenya Airways 

Swissport, Tradewinds Ltd, Kenya Aerotech, Eurocraft, Cargo Carriers at JKIA, Kenya Airways Cargo, Air France/KLM, Lufthansa Cargo, Emirate Sky Cargo, Cargolux, Ethiopian Airlines, Martin Air, Saudia Airlines, Etihad Crystal Cargo, Egypt Air, Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airlines, Turkish Cargo, MK Airline, Swiss World Cargo, Cargo Belly Carriers, Kenya Airways, British Airways, South African Airways, Air Rwanda, Hub Airlines, Astral Aviation, Kenya Airways, Africa Express Airlines • Safari Air Express, Blue Bird Aviation, Marshland Airline, Juba Airways 

Cargo Facilities Development 

The cargo apron at the JKIA has now been expanded to accommodate 8 wide-bodied aircraft at any one time. Major expansions on roads leading to the cargo terminal, improved lighting system, water and sewerage system and modern ample and secure parking facilities for the motor vehicles. 

Clearing and forwarding Companies 

SDV Transami, Freight in Time, Kuehne & Nagel, Sky Train, Total Touch, Schenker International, Siginon Freight, Mitchell Cotts, Maya Fright, Mechanized, Andy Forwarders, Kenya International Freight & Warehousing Association (KIFWA) 

Courier Companies 

DHL, UPS, TNT, FedEx, Total Plus, Sky Express (SkyNet Worldwide), Postal Corporation 



List of stakeholders STAKEHOLDER CATEGORY   


Law Enforcement   








Passenger Airline   

African Express Airways, Air Arabia, Air France, Air Mauritius, Astral Aviation, British Airways, China Southern Airlines, Lufthansa Airline, East African Safari Air, Egypt Air, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad Airways, Fly 540, Fly-SAX, Jambo Jet, Kenya Airways, Royal Dutch Airlines, Mozambique Airlines, Lufthansa, Airlines, Air, Precision Air, Airways, RwandAir, Saudi Arabian Airlines, African Airways,   

Cargo Airlines   

Air France Cargo, Astral Aviation, Atlas Air Cargo, Blue Bird Aviation, Cargo lux, DHL Mail, Egyptair Cargo, Emirates SkyCargo Etihad Cargo, Kenya Airways Cargo, Lufthansa Cargo, Martin Air Cargo, Qatar Airways Cargo, Saudia Cargo, Singapore Airlines Cargo, Skyward Aviation, Turkish Airlines Cargo, Air France Cargo   


Ground Handling   

Kenya Airways Handling Ltd, Swiss port Ground Handling, Trade Winds Aviation Ltd, Kenya Aerotech Ltd   

Transglobal Ltd (Africa Flight Services), Eurocraft Handling Agencies, Siginon Aviation   


Key Government Agencies   

Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, Aeronautical Information Services, Kenya Immigration Service, Kenya Revenue Authority (Customs), Kenya Airports Police Unit, Port Public Health Services, Kenya Tourism Board, Port health, Immigration, MORT, KEPHIS, NEMA   

External Service providers   

Taxi Operators   


Airfield Costs 


Charges by the owner of an aircraft making a flight in the Flight Information Region are based on the following parameters: (a) Distance flown; (b) The Maximum Take- Off Mass; (c) The unit rate. 

 Except where otherwise indicated, the formula to be applied for the purposes of charging air navigation services is as follows: 

C= P x D x √ (MTOM/50) 


C= the charge to be paid by the owner; P=Unit Rate: D= Distance flown: MTOM = Maximum Take Off Mass 

Link to Navigational charges form. 



Aircraft Weight - MTOW (kg) 


0 - 7,000 

7,001 - 136,000 

136,001 and over 

Navigation (per journey) USD - $ 




Landing USD - $ 




Night Landing USD - $ 




Night Take-Off USD - $ 







Handling Charges 





For updated rates use this site: 




Price per Litre USD - $ 

Jet A-1 

1.19 (Jul 2023)  


2.15/kg (Aug 2023) 


(Rates vary with various terminals. Below is approximate charges) 

Import Charges 

Type of Charge 

Rate USD - $ per kg 


Handling Charge 


Minimum Charge 

Break Bulk Fee 


No comment 

Diplomatic Mail 


Dip mail category (A) 

Strong Room – per consignment 


Minimum Charge 

Cold Storage Fee 


Minimum Charge/Kg/Day 

Delivery Outside Normal Working Hours 


Minimum Charge/48Hrs 

Preparation of substitute AOA – Invoice – Receipt 



Storage per Day 


Per Kg/day 


Handling Charges – Un-palletized Cargo 


Minimum Charge 

International Air Waybill 

Not Available 

No comment 

Local Air Waybill 

Not Available 

No Comment 

Air Waybill Amendment - Cancellation 


No comment 

Air Waybill Documentation 


No Comment 

Diplomatic Mail 

Not Available 

No comment 

Storage Charges per Day 


Per Kg/Day 


Aircraft Weight /Rate (US$): 

2,000 kg- 180,000 kg/ $75 per 3 hours 

180,001 kg and over /$100 per 3 hours 

These charges are administered by KAA, owners and operators of JKIA. 

JKIA is the only airport in Kenya that has operational air-bridges. 

*Charges as of 30th June 2022 

Link to airport charges.  




Kenya Airports Authority has installed up-to-date, top notch security systems for screening cargo and put in place safety procedures that are in line with ICAO recommendations. Strict measures are exercised to counter terrorism and ensure that there is ultimate security at all airports. Due to a well-documented case of lapse in security at JKIA in 2006, all security scanners have been upgraded and all personnel are screened at all check-in points and boarding gates. An ongoing security training exercise is undertaken for all airport workers as well as the National Security Intelligent Service, Kenya Airports Police Unit, Immigration, Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya Civil Aviation Authority Port Health and all the Air Operators 

For your safety and of travellers, all passengers as well as their carry-on and registered baggage are screened. Screening is conducted for metal objects such as keys, cell phones and coins. Coat or jacket are taken off and placed in the plastic tray, liquids and gels are presented separately, laptops are removed for separate screening and other instructions given by the security agents must be adhered to. For security reasons, all hold baggage is screened. If during this screening, the security agent suspects the presence of prohibited or dangerous goods, then the security team on the ground is allowed to open the traveller's bag or suitcase. As a rule, the passenger is confronted with their baggage in which case they will be opened in their (passengers) presence, and the security staff will explain the need for extra search being performed. 

Link to security provisions; 




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