Tanzania reclaims Eastern Triangle

The government will soon start earning a whopping 1bn/- yearly from handling and managing the Eastern Triangle airspace, currently being handled by Kenya, following installation of a new surveillance machine at Mnyusi area in Tanga region.

The Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) Acting Chief Air Traffic Management Mr Gideon Msheri said the Eastern Triangle portion of the airspace was allocated to Kenya in 1977 by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

Mr Msheri told the Infrastructure Development Committee here yesterday that Eastern Triangle which is a portion of Tanzania’s airspace was placed under Kenya’s management because Tanzania did not have the capacity then to communicate with planes passing through the airspace.

TCAA has so far written to ICAO requesting that Tanzania is given back the mandate to monitor the eastern triangle portion, which would earn the nation the 1bn/- per year.

“The surveillance system that we have installed at Mnyusi area in Tanga covers the eastern airspace and we have the right to claim back the eastern triangle airspace and earn the money which is currently going to Kenya,” Mr Msheri explained.

He said ICAO has agreed and anytime soon TCAA will have a meeting with organisation to enter into a new contract or receive new directives on the matter. The ICAO is a United Nations specialised agency, established in 1944 to manage the administration and governance of the Convention on International Civil Aviation.

The TCAA chief of air traffic management noted that with the new installed surveillance systems at Mnyusi in Tanga region, airlines passing through the eastern triangle airspace can be guided from within the country, hence the need to get the area back.

He said Tanzania has lost a lot of revenue from the eastern triangle airspace since 1977, noting that a study conducted showed that last year the nation lost 1bn/-.

“We cannot evaluate how much we lost in the previous years since it was allocated to Kenya but we did an evaluation two years ago on how much we are losing then and found out we were losing 1bn/- per year,” he explained.

The eastern triangle also covers Madagascar, Mauritius, Moroni and Mayotte islands. Mr Msheri expressed optimism to the committee members that the area would be given back to Tanzania, noting that the law allows any country to seek back its area after providing satisfying evidence to ICAO that it would be able to manage it.

The Committee had wanted to get more information on the matter and where TCAA was with addressing the issue.

Meanwhile the Infrastructure Development Committee will summon the minister of Home Affairs and the Minister of Works, Transport and Communication to discuss modalities of ensuring the Fire and Rescue force under TCAA is permanent.

The Committee Chairperson Prof Norman Adamson Sigalla said this would ensure personnel of the fire and rescue force under the TCAA who receives specialised training on how to put out fire on planes are not transferred to other areas that do not need that kind of specialised training.

Briefing the committee on some of the challenges facing TCAA, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication, Dr Leonard Chamuriho (Transport sector) said TCAA has no permanent fire and rescue personnel and vehicles, which does not paint a good picture for the country’s international airports.

He explained that the best solution is to have a permanent command under TCAA in accordance with the category of the airport, which will be available around the clock to provide safety measure anytime there is a fire disaster at the country’s airports.

“This has also affected our international rates with ICAO, the year before last we got 38 percent...a little below that we would have been categorised as dangerous zone,” he noted explaining that normally fire and rescue personnel working at airport and the Ports are given special training.

He added: “if a plane comes in to land and the fire and rescue vehicles have been taken outside the airport to put out fire, we are required to inform the pilot then it is up to him to land it and his own risk, this is not good according to international aviation standards.”

The remarks from the PS elicited different reactions from the committee members who expressed surprise that there was no permanent command at the country’s international airports. Some noted that even vehicles used in the fire and rescue at airports, most especially in the regions were outdated and not fit to operate at all.

Tanzania reclaims Eastern Triangle Tanzania reclaims Eastern Triangle  Reviewed by on 9:58:00 PM Rating: 5

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