TANZANIA: AS the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) prepares itself to mark the 20th anniversary, it has recounted its key achievements, including laying down strategies aimed at increasing the number of passengers by four times following an increase in number of private players in the industry.
According to TCAA Director General Hamza Johari, the number of passengers shot to 5.7 million in the last financial year up from only 1.52 million in 2003, when the authority was established.
“With the positive impact of the Royal Tour documentary we expect that the number of passengers will further go up in this fiscal year,” Mr Johari affirmed yesterday in Dar es Salaam, when briefing about preparations for the 20th anniversary to be climaxed on November 1.
Prior to the climax, there will be series of activities relating to the aviation sector and development.
He said the TCAA marks the anniversary with a number of successes attained in the past 20 years, mentioning that the number of marshalers has more than doubled from 70 to 154 currently.
Furthermore, the number of air traffic control engineers has also doubled to 44 from the previous number.
“The authority assures that we grow in tandem with the growth of the sector,” assured Mr Johari, noting that the government’s decision to purchase more radars to reach a total of four from only one in 2003 was also another key milestone.
This has assured effective surveillance as the sector continues attracting more investors, with the number of planes operating in the country also increasing by two times from 101 in 2003 to 206 currently.
On the other hand, Mr Johari said the project to improve voice system between air traffic controllers and pilots was ongoing and it is expected to be complete in April next year.
He thanked President Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan for approving 35bn/- to implement the project which, upon its completion, will improve efficiency of communication between pilots and air traffic controllers.
He said it was necessary to improve the system because the existing one had some challenges, including communication interferences and poor quality of voice.
Speaking on future plans, he said, the authority looks forward to training more pilots through its fund which is jointly financed by the authority and aviation stakeholders.
“This is possible especially after the government purchased two trainer aircraft for the National Institute of Transport (NIT), whereby the country will now start producing pilots locally,” he said.
He said through the fund, the authority managed to train 22 pilots outside the country, which is more costly.
According to Mr Johari, lack of trainer aircraft meant that the institute could not offer pilot training, and Tanzanians who went abroad for the course had to pay about 100,000 US dollars as fee.
The NIT will charge an equivalent of 48,000 US dollars, he said.
The TCAA’s fourth Five-Year Strategic Plan (2021/22-2025/26) was prepared to provide a strategic direction for aviation industry and enhance its contribution to the socio-economic development of the country through safe and secure aviation activities.
The authority seeks to ensure safety, security and regularity of civil aviation in Tanzania through effective oversight, efficient air navigation services and training in order to develop a dynamic and sustainable air transport system that corresponds with the needs of the country and facilitate the achievement of the aspirations of Vision 2025.
The plan pays particular attention to regulatory services, improved surveillance for enhanced safety and security in line with the International Civil Organisation (ICAO) requirements and implementation of the Corrective Action Plan (CAP) in order to improve the level of compliance with international requirements.
Also, the acquisition of modern technologies has been included in the plan as well as staff development initiatives.
Investments will also be undertaken to support the development of airports being undertaken by the Tanzania Airports Authority (TAA) in order to facilitate efficient aircraft movements.