Presenting report for the airport’s facelift to Ruvuma Regional Commissioner Christina Mndeme early this week, Songea airport manager Jordan Mchami said work on the construction of the 1740mt long and 30mt wide runway has been completed.
He said the construction of the aircraft apron was in the final stages of completion and when completed by mid-November this year it will be able to accommodate more than 6 big planes.
Mchami said special emergency 70mx40m parking area for aircraft has also been built, and added that runway lights for night landing have also been installed.
“Bombardiers will now start landing at Songea airport, and we expect the first plane to land before the end of this month,” said Mchami.
He said the new building for passengers’ lounge will hold 150 passengers at one time has also been completed.
He said passenger fares would be affordable compared to those of private carriers which stand at between 500,000/- and 600,000/- for Songea-Dar return journey.
He said the arrival of Bombardier will serve residents of Ruvuma region as they would now pay 400,000/- Songea -Dar return journey.
Speaking after inspection of the airport, Songea RC Christina Mndeme praised CHICCO contractors for refurbishment of the airport which will be 100 per cent complete by December, this year.
She said Songea airport was a rare resource that can boost Songea’s economic growth and the entire Ruvuma Region especially in the tourism sector, following the launch of strategic plan to spur tourism in the region.
Songea airport was built between 1974 and 1980 and its runway at tarmac level will enable it to handle planes during all seasons.