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Minister Shakes Head In Disbelief

Aviation news: Tanzania Airports Authority fails to connect taxiway to hangar

Wolfgang H. Thome, eTN  Feb 07, 2011

(eTN) - The US$5+ million maintenance hangar, built by Precision Air and due to be ready at the latest by March of this year, will most likely have to stand idle for some time longer, as the Tanzania Airports Authority (TAA), responsible for the management and infrastructure at Dar es Salaams’ Julius Nyerere International Airport, has failed to make good on their commitment, if not duty, to link the new hangar with an access to the main taxiway.

Precision Air over the weekend made their frustration known when conducting a guided tour for the Minister of Transport of the new facility, prompting the minister to shake his head in disbelief, according to an eye witness, before promising some immediate follow up.

Said the same source to this correspondent: "Just imagine, Precision is now the main Tanzanian airline, invests over US$5 million in a maintenance facility, which is supposed to create high value jobs for Tanzanians and keep foreign exchange in the country by doing heavy maintenance at home instead of flying their aircraft abroad, and the airport authority is sleeping and not linking the new building with the rest of the airport to allow planes to be taxied or towed there. At times I think this company is being systematically sabotaged by envious and backward forces who do not understand the nature of aviation in today’s economy."

Another regular source from the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority would only confirm that they were made aware of the problem but was unable to give a time frame when the hanger would be connected with a taxiway so that it could commence maintenance work, as the oversight was with TAA and not Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA).

Only recently was it reported here that French aircraft company ATR had opted to establish a manufacturer-supported maintenance base in Southern Africa, in spite of having many of their aircraft fly in Eastern Africa. There is, of course, now speculation if the current development had anything to do with their decision to "go South rather than East" with their AMO facility.
Should indeed there be such a link between the two issues, the loss for the Tanzanian economy would be even greater, although having the hangar completed and equipped, and NOT being able to use it for some more time, will surely cost Precision a fair penny.

Said another aviation source from Nairobi when contacted on the issue: "That is an interesting theory and worth looking into. If there is any evidence of back room dealings, and as you put it, possible sabotage of Precision, it should be fully looked into and any culprits be brought to book."

In a related article last weekend, it was reported here that a legal case for a winding up of the company was brought in the High Court in Dar es Salaam, timed precisely with the final stage of the preparation for an IPO, compelling the Dar Stock Exchange to put a preliminary halt to those plans as is apparently required under law, since any company with a pending winding up petition in court cannot "go public" with their shares.

Aviation news: Tanzania Airports Authority fails to connect taxiway to hangar
Julius Nyerere International Airport / Image via

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