The Kenya Airports Authority is negotiating with the Lands ministry on how people squatting around the airport should be compensated.
KAA Managing Director Stephen Gichuki yesterday said removing the squatters by use of force had not always worked. He said they are considering alternative ways of removing them. "It is important that buildings and structures around our airports are removed because they are a hazard to flights," said Gichuki. Gichuki was speaking in Mombasa during the Africa leadership convention.
The KAA boss said the construction of a container terminal by a prominent Mombasa businessman near the Moi International Airport in Mombasa had not been approved. He said no approval can be made for a building anywhere near an airport. The recommended distance for construction of any structure near an airport is at least 500 metres.
The KAA boss said they are working out a more humane way of removing the buildings and structures, mostly those owned by squatters near airports. "We are liaising with the Lands ministry to seek modalities of compensating those with genuine titles to land near airports so that we can find alternative places for them," said Gichuki.
Last year, the parliamentary committee on investment was blocked from accessing a piece of land around the Moi International Airport in Mombasa where squatters live. The squatters threatened to stone the MPs if they stepped into "their territory". Gichuki said traffic at the airports both in Mombasa and Nairobi had significantly increased recently.