Tanzania aviation news – Dar’s JNIA set to play catch up, but how and when

Information has been received from regular aviation sources in Dar es Salaam, that the countrys main international airport, Julius Nyerere International, has finally and apparently been shocked into a reaction too, following frequent reports in regional media and aviation circles of the determined efforts put up in the wider region to expand, modernize and refurbish the key airports in Nairobi, Kigali where in fact an entirely new airport is supposed to open by 2016 at Bugesera with Entebbe and Kilimanjaro International also at the verge of starting major new expansions.
Aviation in Tanzania, while crucially important to bring tourists and business visitors to the country, has always had the stigma of a step child at best and the lukewarm on and off decisions over the almost invisible national airline Air Tanzania, as well as the equally lukewarm attitude towards the countrys largest airline Precision Air by government speaks volumes as to the importance aviation is given in government circles.
It is understood that principle consent has now been indicated to commence the planning of a third terminal in Dar es Salaam, to cater for what is generally expected to be fast rising passenger and cargo volumes.
Unlike in neighbouring countries though, and probably again showing the lack of understanding of how aviation works, has the source in Dar mentioned that the Tanzania Airport Authority is seeking a partnership with a private investor, either due to lack of funds or inability to put a financing package into place swiftly enough to provide timely capacity relief. Going by past public private partnership experiences in Tanzania, as seen in the attempt to privatize the railways, privatize water and introduce private companies in electricity production, this is worth watching how it will develop and finally emerge, and if this venture will stand the test of time, and the test of inevitable politics in Tanzania and bring the benefits as the aviation fraternity is hoping for. So for now it is merely an expression of interest, nothing firm nor concrete and without the timelines the airline industry has been waiting and hoping for. Watch this space for regular breaking news and news updates from Eastern Africa and the Indian Ocean islands aviation scene.