Purchase of new aircraft radar soon to be reality

AS the aviation industry continues to grow in the country, the government plans to purchase six modern surveillance radars that will improve air traffic control services in the country.

The Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Prof Makame Mbarawa said the tendering process for the purchase of the six surveillance radars is at an advanced stage.

Prof Mbarawa made the remarks in Unguja yesterday shortly after touring Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA), Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) and Zanzibar Airport, where he stressed on the importance of adhering to the law when selecting the winning tender.

The minister said “We want to ensure air transport infrastructure is improved to ensure improved aviation services in the country and security of air passengers as we focus on attracting more tourists into the country,” he explained.

He directed TCAA to ensure pilots issued with permits to fly planes in the country are only those that fulfill international aviation standards, to increase aviation security.

Meanwhile, Prof Mbarawa also spoke on the importance of the government of Zanzibar changing its airwaves of 700MHZ from analogue to digital to match that of mainland Tanzania.

On his part, the Zanzibar Minister of Works, Communication and Transport, Ambassador Ally Karume commended Prof Mbarawa for the cooperation existing between the two ministries, stressing that the relationship will increase efficiency in the sectors under the ministries.

“We should also benefit from services that our colleagues in mainland Tanzania are receiving from the ministry, because we are also part of the Union, so that the public from both sides can profit equally,” Ambassador Karume noted.

Minister Mbarawa is on a working tour in Unguja town inspecting institutions under his ministry and exchanging experience with his counterpart in Zanzibar.

Last month, TCAA appealed for the purchase of new surveillance radar as the lifespan of the only one in operation at the Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) in Dar es Salaam has ended.

The TCAA Acting Chief of Air Traffic Management, Mr Gideon Msheri, was quoted yesterday saying that the radar was purchased in 2002 and its lifespan period is 10 years.

“The radar, which is the only airport surveillance instrument in the country, has been in operation for almost 14 years since it was purchased in 2002,” he said, adding that the cost of getting a new one ranges between 12bn/- and 16bn/-.

The authority said that it was also essential for the country to consider having at least one radar at the four biggest international airports to ensure full surveillance.

According to the TCCA Director General, Mr Hamza Johari, the authority has an allocation of 8.8m/- in the 2016/17 financial year and the same amount in the previous year for the purchase of the new surveillance radar.

He said that acquisition of the new radars is among TCAA’s priorities this financial year, which include improving air navigation services by enhancing communication and surveillance, noting that research had shown that the TCAA needed to install at least four radars, which would help to cater for the whole country’s airspace.

“Buying new radars is economically viable. But there are also other benefits such as allowing expeditious and orderly flow of traffic control and passing of information, and search and rescue of aircraft,” he said.

Purchase of new aircraft radar soon to be reality Purchase of new aircraft radar soon to be reality Reviewed by on 11:45:00 PM Rating: 5

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