TANZANIA air safety standards continue to be above average after last year registered few accidents compared to the previous year.
The Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) Director, General Fadhili Manongi, said that last year, the country experienced a total of 16 accidents and incidents with no casualties registered. "This makes our air space safer.
Actually, we are ranked above average by ICAO that puts us at par with many first world airspaces, the likes of UK, US, and Canada," Mr Manongi told the 'Daily News' yesterday. He made the remarks while leading a TCAA delegation that visited Tanzania Standard Newspaper (TSN) Limited, the publishers of the Daily News, Sunday News, HabariLeo, HabariLeo Jumapili and SpotiLeo.
Last year, the aviation sector experienced six accidents and 12 incidents compared to two accidents and 10 incidents the previous year which had some casualties. In aviation sector language, an accident is an occurrence that leaves a passenger dead or seriously injured or in which the aircraft receives substantial damage.
And incident is an occurrence that leaves the aircraft undamaged and without affecting its operations. "Economically," he said, "safety standards attract international airlines to do business in the country, while others increase frequency."
Some of the international carriers that increased frequency, resumed flights or started new operations to Dar es Salaam recently include Oman Air, Ethiopian Airways, Turkish Air and FastJet. The number of accidents and incidents are declining despite the fact that flights are increasing considerably. In 2004, there were 149,161 flights compared to 206,334 flights in 2011.
Also, on average, the number of accidents was 1.6 per 1000 flights in the last eight years, while incidents were 6.7 per 1000 flights for the same period. According to the TCAA data, the number of incidents declined to 4.9 per 1000 in the last eight years, while on the other hand the number of flights increased by almost 10,000 per year to 206,334.
Mr Manongi said, "The success behind reduced accidents and incidents is to strictly comply with security management of the air transport sector." At the moment, the TCAA has 14 centres for controlling and navigating flights in Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Mwanza, Arusha, Pemba, Tabora, Kigoma, Dodoma, Iringa, Mbeya and Mtwara.
TCAA data shows that on average there is an increase of 4.5 per cent of total flights handled per year. The Dar es Salaam centre leads with 2.5 per cent increase that is 206,334 flights handled. To further increase the Dar aviation safety standards, the regulator has spent about 273m/- putting in place the New Flight Plan Format (NFPF) that directed all airlines or pilots to document all aircraft movements.