Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) Director General, Hamza Johari disclosed this yesterday in Dar es Salaam during the second national Tanzania civil aviation stakeholders forum, which brought together 150 participants from different fields in the industry.
The forum was meant to provide a platform for stakeholders to discuss the future of aviation at the local level, themed: ‘Taking Civil Aviation Industry in Tanzania to the Apex.’
Delegates are expected to come up with proposals to boost the industry’s contribution within the national economic agenda of changing Tanzania to become a semi- industrialized middle income country by 2025.
The TCAA chief executive asserted that the current master plan is outdated hence the need for it to be reviewed to cope with rapid changes and today’s demands on the sector. He said the review is part of plans make the aviation sector contribute enormously to the economy.
“The new master-plan is important since it will highlight all evident challenges. Its completion will push key players in the sector to set their plans in tandem with expectations of the new civil aviation master plan so that they operate in a single silo,” he stated.
Johari affirmed that a qualified and professional workforce is needed to facilitate safe and secure operation of the system, in which case TCAA took initiatives to train 10 experts to fill the gap.
The country’s aviation sector is facing a number of challenges including shortage of pilots, aircraft engineers and infrastructure in some airports, he said.
“Our aviation industry is growing fast contrary to expectations, making it necessary to sort out all emerging challenges,” he said.
The Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Isack Kamwelwe said the government is working hard to find solution to challenges facing the sector, including shortages of important components of the workforce. Various interventions are being taken to improve airstrips, he pointed out.
The minister said Tanzania has a total of 349 pilots and 182 aircraft engineers, while the National Institute of Transport (NIT) will soon start training pilots.
“We are finalizing talks with the Ministry for Education, Science and Technology to see how the Higher Learning Students Loan Board (HESLB) can provide loans for students pursuing pilot and aircraft engineering courses since the courses are expensive,” he stated.
In another development, the minister said that two aircrafts including a Boeing 787 – 8 Dreamliner will arrive in the country in December, earlier than projected.
The arrival of the two aircrafts will bring to eight the number of aircrafts operated by the state-owned Air Tanzania Company Ltd (ATCL).The corporation is set to revive its passenger schedule routes connecting major airports in Tanzania with the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg by end of this month. The Dar es Salaam- Mumbai route will start mid next month.
In Africa, the aviation sector contributes US$ 72.5 billion annually and offers upwards of 6.8 million jobs, reports affirm.
During 2019, Africa has contributed 2.5 percent of world airline passengers while facing challenges such as poor connectivity, high ticket prices and infrastructure.