Wilson Airport was Named After Her~Story of The Founder of Wilson Airport

Wilson airport, located South of Nairobi off Langata Road, was named after a female millionaire, Florence Kerr Wilson.

Wilson Airport, which takes pride in being one of the busiest airports in terms of air traffic, in East and Central Africa was previously known as Nairobi West Aerodrome.

Its establishment in Nairobi was as a result of a short love story that blossomed between the female millionaire, Florence and a young British pilot known as Captain Thomas Campbell Black.

Florence inherited a fortune from her husband after he passed away. Her late husband came from a wealthy background that had invested in shipbuilding in a company based in London.

Theirs was love at first sight. As Florence was traveling back to Kenya from the UK, she boarded a plane that was being captained by Campbell. She boarded the Fokker Universal aircraft that was nicknamed Miss Africa at that time.

In 1929, Florence converted some of her inheritance plus her fortune valued at Ksh7 million at current exchange rates (50,000 Pounds Sterling) towards the establishment of Wilson Airport. She made the huge investment in order to convince her young lover to stick around.

She also acquired a single De Havilland plane and made her lover, Campbell, the head captain and Managing Director. Campbell oversaw all operations including mail deliveries all over the region, especially the British Protectorates.

The airport was situated at the present day, The Junction Mall on Ngong Road. She chose the location as it was expansive allowing planes to land on the murram runways.

However, Florence continued with her venture acquiring 17 planes that mostly served royal families and other wealthy customers. She later relocated her aviation venture to Langata.

Campbell passed away in an air crash in 1936. 

Unfortunately, the story of the millionaire did not end well. During the World War II in 1939, the government took over her company and it became part of the Royal Air Force. Her pilots were also picked to join the Kenya Auxiliary Air Unit.

After the takeover, Florence was left with nothing and passed on at her Karen home in 1968.

The destinations covered by planes using the airport include Maasai Mara, Mombasa, Amboseli, Lamu, Kilimanjaro, Diani, Lokichogio, and Nanyuki. 

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