Tanzania plans airport expansion for Dar es Salaam

Tanzania airpportBy ROSEMARY MIRONDO, Special Correspondent
  • TAA has expanded and improved JNIA Terminal II in order to meet the needs of the increased number passengers since it was constructed in 1984.
  • In 2012, Tanzania received one million visitors, up from 867,000 visitors in 2011. The airport currently handles two million passengers annually against a capacity of 1.2 million passengers.
  • Rehabilitation of the electrical system was carried out in 2003 at a cost of $9 million while the second phase in 2006 involved rehabilitation of runways and apron at a cost of $31.4 million. In 2008, taxiways and runways were renovated at a cost of $38.5 million.
  • Global standards require that airports provide capacity at least five years before it is due, but years of under investment have left the region’s governments far from bridging the existing capacity gap.

Tanzania is looking for a partner to invest Tsh225billion ($140 million) in the expansion of the new Terminal III building at the Julius Nyerere International Airport as East African countries upgrade their aviation facilities to enhance security and comfort of passengers.

The government had received Tsh275 billion ($164.3 million) last year from the Netherlands government for expansion of the airport, but a technical evaluation later showed that the terminal needed other facilities that would be housed at the terminal building annex, for which an investor is now being sought. The terminal building would have parking lots, access roads, platforms and a taxiway.

“The cost of the two projects is estimated at Tsh518 billion ($322.4 million) upon completion of both phase I and II,” said Tanzania Aviation Authority legal officer Ramadhani Maleta.

The project is being handled by a contractor, BAM International of the Netherlands, and a consultant, Arab Consulting Engineers (ACE) of Egypt.

Mr Maleta said the construction of the current building would be completed in 2017, after which the new project would start if investors would have committed funds.

“Preparations for construction of the passenger terminal III building complex has started and the contractor is expected to complete it within the next 33 months,” he said.

The new terminal is designed for the anticipated growth of international air traffic, leaving Terminal II, which caters for international passengers, as a domestic flights terminal.

The aviation authority has expanded and improved the building located in JNIA Terminal II, which was constructed in 1984, to accommodate the increasing number of passengers.

Six million passengers

According to Mr Maleta, completion of terminal III would allow the airport to handle six million passengers annually. In 2012 Tanzania received one million visitors, earning the economy Tsh11.1 trillion ($7 billion), up from 867,000 visitors in 2011. The airport, whose capacity is 1.2 million passengers, now handles two million per year.

Work on the terminal started in January and so far site offices have been completed and mobilisation is in progress. A fence separating the construction area from the airside has been completed. Renovation of runways, taxiways and aircraft parking, as well as the fluorescent lighting system of the airport has also been done.

Following the renovations, done from 2003 to 2010, the airport now has capacity for 30 flights per hour, reducing queues of aircraft waiting to land or take off.

Rehabilitation was done in 2003, including electrical system at the JNIA airport, which cost $9 million while the second phase in 2006 included rehabilitation of runways, apron worth $31.4million, and in 2008 included renovation of the taxiways and runways worth$38.5million.

Reports show that civil aviation activities in Tanzania have grown fast in recent years with aircraft movements increasing by 61 per cent from 112,821 in 2000 to 181,240 in 2010.

Tanzania joins Kenya in expanding its airport facilities as the two neighbours jostle to be the preferred tourism destination in East Africa. Kenya recently broke ground on a Ksh56 billion ($) terminal, which when completed, will see the airport handle 20 million passengers per year.

The airport now handles 6.5 million passengers, nearly three times its capacity of 2.5 million passengers. Traffic at the airport grows at a rate of 12 per cent per annum, and is expected to hit 25 million people by 2025.

Last year, Uganda hired Spanish aviation consultancy Aineco to review its Civil Aviation Masterplan that was drafted 20 years ago. The masterplan targeted to expand the Entebbe International Airport and to upgrade Gulu, Kasese, Arua and Kotido airports at a cost of $400 million.

The review is expected to be ready by December this year. Civil aviation officials say $600 million would be required for the modernisation with half of the money going to Entebbe International Airport which handled 1.4 million travellers last year. CAA spokesman Ignie Igunduura said the traffic could reach 1.8 million by 2018.

Rwanda is in talks with China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) a Chinese firm to construct the Bugesera International Airport, as it seeks to address pressing capacity constraints at Kigali International Airport.

The firm won the deal expected to cost over $650 million with the money expected to come from the Exim Bank of China. The new airport is expected to complement Kigali International Airport, which handled 534,000 passengers in 2011 against a capacity of 300,000 passengers annually.


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