Airport Authority (TAA) has divulged a master plan that will see the Arusha Airport transformed into a state-of-the art, tourist and commercial zone.
If all goes as plan ned, the 129 hectors of Arusha Airport located 7km west of Arusha, at the heart of northern tourism circuit, will undergo a major repositioning in a bid to tape emerging opportunity in a booming tourism trade.
TAA Commercial Manager, Scolastica Mkajanga says the plan will see a major rehabilitation and upgrading of runway, taxiways, apron, access road, car park, construction of a convention centre and ultra-modern-hotel within the estate.
According to the master plan seen by the eTN, the constructions also include exhibition centre, new terminal building, VIP building, business lounges, office accommodation, and aviation fuel farm and aircraft maintenance hangars.
“The construct of the crucial infrastructures to the Airport will cost over $25million”, TAA Director General, Prosper Tesha said shortly after rolling out the master plan before the stake holder’s forum in Arusha recently.
According to TAA Engineer, Thomas Haule, the Arusha Airport expansion will include nearly 200 acres of farmland acquired from Selian Agricultural Research Institute.
Terminal design capacity is 100 passengers per hour each way in 2008-2015, 120 passengers in 2015-2020, 400 after 2020, Haule noted.
“The forecasted growth of passengers is from 100,000 in 2008 up to 400,000 in 2020” he said.
The zone is to become a ‘city’ at the heart of northern Tourism circuit, where prospective investors are to establish, shopping malls, 600 roomed high class tourist hotel, convention centre to accommodate 6,000 delegates at ago and Export Processing Zone, among others.
So far, TAA has invested 2.3bn/- in modernizing and expanding apron, taxiways and runways in the airport, the Arusha Airport Manager, Ester Dede told visiting journalists on Wednesday.
“Apron has been expanded from previously 7500 sq meters to 11,700 square meters with a capacity to accommodate 30 aircrafts at ago” Dede
The airport reposition also saw the 1.2km out of 1.62km long runways upgraded at a tarmac level, while the remain 420 metres is at moram status. Taxiways also paved and expanded up to 15 metres wide.
During the tourism high season, Dede noted, the aircrafts movements stands between 80 and 120 per day.
Besides the success story, the airport is also facing a number of constraints like lack of the most important ‘cloud break procedure’ to assist the pilot to land during the poor visibility.
“But by the end of this year, we shall have the cloud break procedure in place” chipped in Civil Aviation Manager in Arusha, Simon Kimiti.
Other equipment that lacks into the airport, Kimiti says, is radar.
“Radar is a system that uses reflected radio waves to determine the presence, location, and speed of distant objects” he said, adding, the system has military, law-enforcement, and navigational applications.
Arusha Airport is one of the 62 airports owned and managed by TAA; it is the third busiest airport after Julius Nyerere International
Airport and Mwanza Airport.
The Airport was built way back in 1950s by the colonialist and the aim was to serve agro-aviation, after independence the airport has been a major connection for tourist.
Currently, the airport is a major strategic hub for tourist’s charters flying them to Arusha, Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Serengeti, Mount Kilimanjaro national parks and Ngorongoro Conservation Area.