Isiolo International airport, a Vision 2030 project was officially commissioned by President Uhuru Kenyatta in July 2017.
The airport that straddles Meru and Isiolo counties is located near Isiolo town and is accessible from Meru town through Ruiri-Isiolo road and the Nanyuki-Isiolo road. It can also be accessed through Muriri-Isiolo road.
According to the Kenya Airport Authority, the Airport is located on the border of Isiolo and Meru Counties with half of the runaway extending into Meru County.
“Its location is approximately 283 kilometres (176 mi), by road, and about 200 kilometres (120 mi), by air, north-east of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, the country’s largest civilian airport. The geographic coordinates of this airport are:0° 20′ 37.00″N, 37° 35′ 16.00″E (Latitude:0.343610; Longitude:37.587778).”
Construction of the Isiolo International airport started in 2012 at a cost of Sh2.7 billion and has a 5,000 square meter passenger terminal. It was expected to more than 125,000 travellers every year.
The airport is expected to open up Mt Kenya East region and upper eastern region which boasts of rich tourism, horticulture and livestock farming.
Some of the areas expected to benefit from the airport include Meru, Tharaka-Nithi, Laikipia, Isiolo, Samburu and Marsabit counties which host Mt Kenya, Lewa Conservancy, Olpejeta, Meru National Park, Samburu Game reserve, Buffalo Springs game reserve among many other conservancies.
The airport is also expected to transform the transformation of miraa, beans, cut flowers among others from Meru and neighboring Laikipia once it is ready for cargo carriers.
Recently, President Kenyatta launched construction of Laare-Ndumuru road, which he said was key to easing access from the miraa growing areas to the airport.
Trade Cabinet secretary Peter Munya said there were plans to extend the airport’s runway to handle bigger planes and put up cargo storage areas to ease transportation of goods.
Fly Sax, a private airline had started weekly flights at the airport last year before suspending them and now the facility offers chartered flights.
Meru governor Kiraitu Murungi has been lobbying for operalisation of the airport saying it would be a game changer in the region.