Iringa Airport upgrading to be completed in August

THE upgrading and renovation of Iringa Airport that has currently reached 45 per cent is expected to be completed in August, this year.

Upon completion, the 63.7bn/- project will significantly open up economic potentials in the Southern Highlands zone.

“Once the airport becomes fully operational, it will have the capacity of handling tourism activities and transportation of goods and services,” the Minister for Works and Transport, Professor Makame Mbarawa revealed recently.

He said before commencing the renovation and upgrading project, airplanes were using 1.6 metres runway, but the project will expand  it to completion will allow planes to run on 2.1 metres, the completion will also allow planes to undertake cargo loading and offloading. The project is implemented by the China Sinodyro Corporation limited in two phases.

“While over 63.7bn/- has been used for execution of the first phase, the second and final phase is slated for completion in August this year,” he said.

According to him, a team of officials from the Tanzania Roads Agency (Tan roads) headquarters recently toured to inspect the progress of the project and expressed satisfaction.

He urged Tanzania traders especially from the Southern highland regions to start making better use of the Airport by increasing the volume of freight passing through the Iringa Airport.

“I should allay fears that traders shouldn’t expect inconveniences used to be recorded in the past especially during the offloading of cargo,” he said.

Prof Mbarawa made the revelation, noting that the Airport improvement aims at increasing efficiency as well as decongesting Mbeya, Songwe and Dodoma airports. The carried works on the project include increasing the running track of the plane and the passengers’ terminal.

Speaking on the project, the Sinodyro Corporation limited Deputy Project Manager, Mr Zhang Cheng, said the first and second phase involved increasing the running track of the plane, watch tower and passengers’ terminal.

Furthermore, he said the first phase also involved the provision of the working equipment such as fire equipment and watch towers by 35 per cent.

The manager on his thoughts on the government about delay of payment said we have a good relationship with the government but the issue has become a little tough for proceeding on purchasing the material.

Tanzania National Roads Agency (TANROADS) Iringa Regional Manager, Mr Daniel Kindole said the renovation and upgrading project was also a strategy aimed at improving services provided to clients from the northern and central zones as well as neighbouring countries.

“Not only will the airport ease freight transportation to neighbouring countries, but also it will simplify communication to the airport at Dar es Salaam, Dodoma and Songwe, the latter being located 354 kilometres in the southern side,” he said.

The project contract was signed in May, 2020 between TANROADS Headquarters and Sinodyro Corporation limited with execution commenced in July and now is expected to be completed in August 2023.

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