Dar es Salaam — Swissport Tanzania, one of the cargo handling companies at the Mwalimu Julius Nyerere International Airport has set aside $10m to build a freight terminal as part of its expansion plan.
The funding will be used to build a freight terminal with 8,000 square meters which will be designed to accommodate about 8,000 tonnes of cargos at once, the Swissport Tanzania said last week during the flight launch of the low cost carrier Fastjet.
The Swissport's Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Gaudence Temu told East African Business Week that the construction of the newly facility set to commence early next year. The construction will take about 18 months to complete.
Temu said that Tanzania is now witnessing the fast growing of the aviation industry over the past years.
"We are positive that the industry will still grow as the business environment improves," Temu said.
According to Temu the construction of the new freight storage facility will add value in accommodating the increasing number of cargos arriving at the airport.
He said investing in the company's capacity to handle the growing number of passengers and cargos has positioned Swissport for the batter growth as the leading handling firm at the airport.
"This is a strategic step for Swissport, while at the same time it is an investment at a vital point in the value chain, adding capacity to the airport facilities and preparing for the increasing volumes of cargos as growth in the aviation industry picks up," Temu explained.
Tanzania has been experiencing growth in the aviation industry over the recent years, recording a 6% growth per year. According to Mr. Temu, the growth of the industry is mostly associated with tremendous developments in the economy, business, and tourism industry. He further said that the growth of the middle income earners in Tanzania has mostly boosted to the increasing number of local passengers.
Deputy Minister for Transport Dr Charles Tizeba told this paper that the government would continue with the improvement of infrastructure to ensure that the industry operates efficiently and accommodate the growing number of passengers and cargo.
"The government has attracted investment in infrastructure development and has put in place requisite environment for private sector's involvement in infrastructure development and air service provision which go hand in hand with legal and regulatory reforms," Dr. Tizeba said.
He stressed that the government recognizes the fact that improved air service is critical to opening up development of its economy by strengthening competition, promoting trade, tourism and foreign direct investment apart from contributing immensely to the government revenues.
"The government is doing everything possible to make sure that the aviation industry is well supported and improved for the good of the government and other stake holders," he added.
Dr Tizeba assured the investors that the government would continue with its role of policy formulation, strategic target setting, regulation, monitoring and evaluation of air transport services while business aspects in the industry are left to the private sector.
The deputy Minister challenged the Tanzania Airports Authority (TAA) to adequately expand Mwanza and Kilimanjaro airports to cope with the expected increase of passengers.
"We are expecting to double the number of tourists to two million from the current one million upon reaching 2017. We all know that Kilimanjaro and Mpanda are among the tourist domestications therefore expansion of these two airports will add value to tourism, he said.