DAR ES SALAAM: PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa has stressed on the necessity for high investment on advanced aviation technologies in order to make the country’s aviation sector become more competitive globally.
Mr Majaliwa made the statement in Dar es Salaam on Monday during the 20th anniversary of the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA).
He added: “Rapidly growing global aviation technologies press a need for huge investment; we can’t avoid the technological changes since we are in a digital era, we must catch up with the changes in order to be competitive.”
Elaborating, he challenged the TCAA to learn from best performing countries in the aviation sector in a bid to further improve services delivery.
“You must find out why they have advanced and achieved a lot in the aviation sector? Let’s go and emulate best practices,” he said.
Equally, Mr Majaliwa directed all TCAA’s executive and employees to embrace technological changes with high creativity for Tanzania to cope with global transformations to reap a lot of economic benefits.
In a related development, he asked the authority to increase efforts in efficiency so as to meet the global market demand driven by application of high technology while observing national, regional and international rules.
Speaking on the achievements, he noted that the TCAA has managed to strengthen the air transport, a situation which resulted in an increased number of passengers.
When established in 2003, the number of air transport passengers was about two million, but currently the number has shot up to five million.
The sector’s contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stood at 8.2 per cent in 2022.
It also saw an increase in airlifted cargo volume from about 33,000 tonnes in 2003 to 240, 000 tonnes this year.
Furthermore, he mentioned that this year’s assessment by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) has ranked Tanzania fourth in Africa and being among the countries with robust aviation security of planes’ operations and visitors entering the country.
Hence, Tanzania has scored 86.9 per cent in aviation security. It was ranked after Nigeria, Kenya and Ivory Coast.
He said the ICAO assessment involved Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) and the Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (AAKIA).
He said the government has been demonstrating unwavering commitment on boosting the aviation sector by procuring 13 planes alongside renovation and construction of new airports, for instance, renovation of the Mwanza Airport, JNIA and Dodoma Airport.
Nevertheless, he said the government has installed Radio Detection and Ranging (RADARs) at JNIA, Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA), Mwanza Airport and Songwe Airport for heightening airspace safety and the sector to operate profitably.
To ensure the country has enough pilots, he said they have procured two planes for the National Transport Institute (NIT) to offer pilot courses at affordable fees, while urging the High Education Students Loans Board (HESLB) to put more priority for students aspiring to pursue the study.
TCAA’S Director General, Mr Johari Hamza, commended the government for continuing taking various initiatives to revolutionise the aviation sector through, among others, the Royal Tour Film which was engineered by the President Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan to further widen aviation market size.
He said the film has made Tanzania more visibile to international investors including new airlines to start their flights to the country including the Air France, Saudia Airline and the Euro Wings.
Mr Hamza said air transport has been driving all development sectors including tourism, trade and agriculture, saying TCAA’s plan is to attract more airlines.
“Our task is to keep on creating more enabling environment for the aviation sector” he said.