(eTN) The gateway airfield of Sumbawanga Aerodrome to the Katavi National Park and Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania is in urgent need of added repairs and upgrades, according to reports received from Dar es Salaam. While light single- and twin-engined aircraft can land at the strip, as they need a shorter take off and landing space, larger twin-engined turboprop aircraft able to carry between 30 and 50 passengers are finding it difficult to land, especially in wet weather conditions, according to remarks attributed to the manager of the aerodrome.
In past years, the East African Community embarked on a program for the member states to improve aviation facilities across the region to promote air transport to more remote areas, but Tanzania being the largest of the five member states, has more airfields and aerodromes to look after than others. It is understood that the annual budget allocation to the aviation sector for field upgrades and maintenance have steadily improved, but a source at the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority has indicated that the authority is following an agreed work plan according to which the various aerodromes are being targeted for improvements. The source also confirmed that Sumbawanga is on the “to do” list and urged “those making noise now” to be patient a little longer.