THE authorities are planning to expand Tanga Airport runway and other facilities to handle traffic in 24 hours.
The airport operates only during the daylight since there were no lights and its runaway has a length of 1.6 kilometres. Tanga Region Assistant Administrative Secretary (Planning), Ms Anne Lyimo, said yesterday that to begin with, the airport will be installed with lights to enable 24 hours operations.
“Currently, Tanga airport is going to be installed with traffic lights to enable airplanes to land and take off all the time," Ms Anne said during ‘Daily News Business Forum’ held in the city. According to Tanzania Airport Authority (TAA), the airport has been earmarked with 107bn/- fund for the extension of existing runway and other facilities.
TAA report showed that the airport runway will be expanded from the current 1.6km to 2.5km to enable huge aircraft - the like of Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus 350 - to land. At the moment, due to shorter runway, bigger airplanes landing at the port are those with less than 50 passengers - the like of ATR 42 and Bombardier Dash 8.
Data from regional office showed that the airport, currently handles 11,000 passengers and some 6,000 kilogrommes of cargo per year. The airport has scheduled flights to Arusha, Dar es Salaam and the Zanzibar Archipelago islands of Unguja and Pemba.
The three airlines are main frequenters of the airport like As Salaam Air, Auric Air and Coastal Aviation. The As Salaam is a Zanzibar based airline that operates with a fleet of two aircraft, while Auric Air is Mwanza based airline with 14 equipment and Coastal Aviation flies a fleet of 30 aircraft and flights to 42 destinations spanning across Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda.
Meanwhile, Ms Anne said the region authorities assure investors of stable power to enable them invest in Tanga. She said they have worked out power supply stability ahead of Hoima-Tanga oil pipeline project in a bid to satisfy the entire investment.
The region has welcomed investors to invest in agriculture, livestock, fishing, industries and infrastructure development - namely airport, harbour, railway, tourism and hospitality industry.