The Acting CEO of the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority accompanied the Deputy Minister for Transport on a tour of secondary airport facilities currently under reconstruction, to provide details on the ongoing programme launched last year (2010) to upgrade, improve and enlarge such infrastructure across the country. This move is aimed to promote air transport for the more remote parts of Tanzania, to facilitate an increase in trade, services and to promote tourism to areas which take too long to access by road.
The ministerial tour focused on Sumbawanga and Mpanda aerodromes, which have seen work to tarmac and existing runways and lengthen them in the process, while also adding apron parking for aircraft and terminal facilities, plus securing the perimeters of those fields.
Information obtained from a regular aviation source in Dar es Salaam speak of 80 billion Tanzania Shillings expenditure for the two facilities although UNHCR is reported to have made a one off contribution of 1.7 billion Tanzania Shillings for in particular Mpanda airport, which they used to cater for visits to refugees from Burundi accommodated in the wider vicinity of Mpanda.
Airlines targeted to commence scheduled flights to those airport, when construction has been completed, are the struggling national airline Air Tanzania but also, and more importantly, market leader Precision Air, which only last week announced another order of 5 ATR turboprop aircraft, supposed to be used in expanding the domestic network within Tanzania.