Kenya breaks ground on big, new airport to serve as regional hub only 4 months after fire

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Only four months after a raging fire engulfed the arrivals terminal at Kenya's main airport, officials are breaking ground on new airport construction that Kenyan leaders hope will cement the country as East Africa's transportation leader.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday said the goal was to make Jomo Kenyatta International Airport one of the world's leading air terminals. Construction on a new $635 million terminal is expected to take three years. The airport will serve 20 million passengers a year, up from 6.5 million passengers per year.

In August a small fire at the Nairobi airport swelled into a roaring inferno that destroyed the arrivals terminal. Firefighters were desperately short of equipment and crews needed hours to control the flames.