TANZANIA: EXPERTS are optimistic that two new trainer aircraft handed to the National Institute of Transport (NIT) on Tuesday will boost the local aviation sector and cut costs for pilot training.
An Aviation Analyst, Mr Renatus Kyakalaba, said having pilot training at the NIT will enable local airlines to hire more local pilots and save costs incurred in engaging foreign pilots.
Mr Kyakalaba said further that the new flight training aircraft would help NIT to attract more foreign students for pilot training will earning the country foreign currency.
“This will not only earn the NIT more revenue but also drive the country’s economy,” he said.
Another expert, Dr Isaac Safari, who is economics lecturer at the Saint Augustine University of Tanzania (SAUT) said pilot training courses at NIT will create more local jobs while also saving foreign currency that were used to pay foreign pilots.
Dr Safari advised the government to strengthen management of the state-owned ATCL so that huge amount of money invested by the government can bring desired returns.
At a ceremony to receive the new aircraft, NIT’s Rector, Professor, Zacharia Mganilwa, said the institute is set to offer pilot courses from December this year after the government has handed them two trainer aircraft.
The reception of the planes was alongside inaugural ceremony ATCL’s new Boeing 737-MAX 9 at the Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) in Dar es Salaam.
He said the government provision of two planes to NIT signals recognition of the institute’s contribution on the aviation sector in the country.
He said the two planes were collectively bought at a cost of 2.4bn/- as each one valued at 1.22b/- and commended President Samia Suluhu Hassan for continued facilitation of the institute.
He said the NIT is finalising arrangements to start students’ admissions for Private Pilot License (PPL) and Commercial Pilot License (CPL).
“All Tanzanians who meet the pilot course requirement can turn their dreams to reality at affordable fees,” said Prof Mganilwa.
He said lack of trainer aircraft meant that the institute could not offer pilot training and Tanzanians who went abroad for the course had to part with about 100,000 US dollars as fee.
NIT will charge an equivalent of 48,000 US dollars, he said.
Highlighting the institute’s efforts on increasing air transport experts, he said in the last Fiscal Year (2022/2023) NIT registered a total of 14,920 students.
He said statistically the country air transport is dominated by foreign licensed pilots.
According to him 64 per cent of Commercial License Pilot (CLP) who can fly small planes are foreigners and 57 per cent for Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) for large aircraft are also foreigners.
However, he said Tanzanian aircraft engineers account for 65 per cent of a total 196 engineers available in the country, and the remaining only 35 per cent are foreigners.
Additionally, Prof Mganilwa detailed that the planes can fly for 1,185 kilometres non-stop at a speed of 230km per hour with capacity of carrying four people (three students and one pilot) saying the plane will be used for Private Pilot License (PPL) and Commercial Pilot License (CPL).