Dar es Salaam — The government said yesterday that construction of Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) Terminal 3 should be completed before the end of this year as scheduled.
The Minister of Works, Transport and Communications, Prof Makame Mbarawa, said the project was 68 per cent complete, adding that there should be no further delays in its construction.
"Construction is going on well, and we expect the job to be completed before the end of this year as scheduled," he said during a tour of the site.
The terminal was initially scheduled to be completed last year, but the completion date was pushed back to October, this year, due to various reasons.
Prof Mbarawa said the new terminal would play a key role in boosting trade and tourism.
Its completion is expected to greatly increase JNIA's capacity and ease the pressure in Terminal 2, which is currently operating beyond its capacity.
Terminal 2, which was opened in 1981, currently handles about 2.5 million passengers annually against its capacity of two million travellers.
Upon completion of JNIA Terminal 3, the three terminals at Tanzania's busiest airport will be able to handle up to nine million passengers annually.
In another development, Prof Mbarawa said the government would take delivery of three new jet airliners in July. The planes are a Boeing 787 Dreamliner and two Bombardier CS300.
Prof Mbarawa said the Tanzania Government Flight Agency had finalised purchase agreements with American manufacturer Boeing Commercial Airplanes and Canada's Bombardier Inc.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a long-haul, mid-size widebody, twin-engine jet airliner. Its variants seat 242 to 335 passengers in typical three-class seating configurations.
The Bombardier CS300 is a narrow-body, twin-engine, medium-range jet airliner capable of carrying between 130 and 160 passengers.
The three new planes will be operated by Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL), and their arrival will increase the size of the national carrier's fleet to five. ATCL currently operates two Bombardier Q400 turboprop airliners.
Prof Mbarawa said the government's aim was to see ATCL competing effectively with other national carriers in the region.
Meanwhile, Prof Mbarawa directed the Tanzania Airports Authority (TAA) to review its agreements with service providers at airports across the country.
Seven companies operating at JNIA have so far had their contracts with TAA reviewed.
As a result, TAA has increased space rental charges at JNIA from $5 (Sh11,305) to $7.90 (Sh17,863) per square metre.
TAA board chairman Ninatubu Lema said the review was expected to increase the agency's income by about 35 per cent, or Sh253 million, annually.