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Airport expansion in Tanzania's political capital due for completion

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang H. Thome, eTN Africa Correspondent  Aug 09, 2016

The 12 billion Tanzania shillings project by the Tanzania Airport Authority to expand the airport in Dodoma, the political capital of the country, is according to information received making good progress.

When completed next month will the airport finally accommodate larger turboprop aircraft with seat capacities matching the type of aircraft used in Tanzania, such as the ATR42 and ATR72 used by Precision Air but also the Bombardier Q300 presently operated by Air Tanzania. When the national airline takes delivery of two new Bombardier Q400NG's starting from next month, will that aircraft type then also be able to land and take off from there with a full passenger load.

Known in aviation circles as 'DOD' (IATA three letter code) or 'HTDO' (ICAO four letter code) is the airport located in the middle of the town of Dodoma at an elevation of 1.109 metres or 3.637 feet above sea level.

The location will make a major extension of the airport difficult to accommodate large jets and it is understood that the construction of an entirely new airport outside the town is one of the options being considered by TAA.

The development is significant as President Magufuli has vowed to move his entire administration to the political capital of Dodoma during his first term of office, with ministries then joining the national parliament which has been meeting in Dodoma for decades now following the declaration in 1974 of the new capital by founder President and father of the nation Mwalimu Julius Nyerere.

However, logistical restrictions and lack of fund have so far prevented a complete shift of the government to the town in central Tanzania. Population is estimated to be well over 400.000 people now with the wider Dodoma District home of nearly 2.5 million people.

Airport expansion in Tanzania's political capital due for completion

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