4 February 2013

Tanzania: Serengeti to Charge Planes for Using Airstrips

Serengeti — SERENGETI District Council is looking for the possibility of charging all planes landing at Fort Ikoma and Grumeti Reserves airstrips in western Serengeti.

Serengeti officials said the move is meant to boost the council's revenue in a bid to speed up social development in the district, whose large part is made up of game protected areas including the world's famous Serengeti National Park (SENAPA).

Mr Jumanne Kwiro, Serengeti District Council Financial Committee Chairman told the latest area full council meeting here that efforts are still underway to make those using airstrips pay something to the council. "We are yet to get the exact answer on how many planes are landing at the airstrips daily and all other details but we are closely making follow ups," Mr Kwiro told the district council decision making organ late last week.

The packed meeting was chaired by the Serengeti District Council Chairman, Mr John Ng'oina, and attended by Area Acting District Commissioner (DC) Mr Joseph Mirumbe, who is the DC for the neighbouring Bunda District. The council claims unspecified amount of money in revenue from operators of the airstrips from 2008 -2012, Mr Kwiro told the meeting.

The District Council, he said, is communicating with the management of Grumeti Reserves in a bid to get correct statistics that will lead it to a final decision. A senior official with Serengeti District Council's Wildlife Department said if the move bears fruit the number of tourists landing at the airports will determine how much they will be getting.

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