President Jakaya Kikwete has called on air transport stakeholders in the country to ensure their performances remains at international standard level.
The president made the call yesterday in Dar es Salaam at an inauguration of the new hangar building for PrecisionAir which he praised for its various development initiatives strengthening the air transport sector in the country.
In his remarks, the president reiterated the need for standards of quality that should continue to be maintained at international level as local standards no longer exist or recognized in global markets. This will enable the country to attain its objectives in the travel industry, he stated.
He said the new facility is of its kind in the country, praising the airline management for impressive developments, saying the facility adds to positive features in the country’s travel industry assets.
A hangar is a closed structure to hold aircraft or spacecraft in protective storage. Most hangars are
built of metal, but other materials such as wood and concrete are also used. Hangars are used for: protection from weather, protection from direct sunlight, maintenance, repair, manufacture, assembly and storage of aircraft on airfields,
Kikwete thanked the company for having worked in partnership with French aeronautics firm ATR which shall be working with PrecisionAir in aircraft repair at the inaugurated workshop.
He suggested that the Ministry of Transport think of initiating aircraft engineering training centers like the Soroti Pilot School in Uganda, used by the three partner states in the defunct East African Community (EAC).
Current EAC leaders have discussed various ways on reviving its operations in order to train more aircraft engineers for East African needs as a whole.
It is high time the government recognized the role being played by the aviation industry in creating job opportunities and tourism promotion, the president noted.
PrecisionAir board chairman Michael Shirima urged the government to review existing aviation laws as they are restrictive to would-be investors in the sector.
“Tanzania is unfortunately marked as an expensive destination by airline thus reducing the potential to create our own hub in Dar es Salaam,” he said, noting that the situation must be reversed in order to ease investment flows.
He said that the government should quickly eliminate unnecessary regulations that choke business and render its activities ineffective.
He urged speedy liberalization of all services totally because the challenges that the stakeholders face cannot be resolved in a stifled atmosphere.
He similarly urged the government to invest in PrecisionAir by buying its shares, to enhance its capital base and make it possible to operate international routes soon enough, citing the Kenya Airways example where the Kenya government had purchased 26 percent of its shares.
On the just inaugurated hangar, he said it would reduce costs PrecisionAir used to spend when sending its planes outside the country for technical maintenance.
Apart from providing such services, the hangar will facilitate training for internship graduate students pursuing aircraft engineering courses at various higher learning institutions in the country.
“Air transport is a vital engine for developments in any country, and therefore the few aviation professionals in Tanzania must be sought to contribute ideas on how to get rid of stumbling blocks in building a strong, progressive and sustainable air transport industry which Tanzania is capable of achieving,” the board chairman underlined.