Arusha — PLANS are underway to relocate the Arusha-Minjingu highway to facilitate Arusha Airport operations. Part of the stretch will now feature in the envisioned Kisongo-four way lane, Arusha Airport Manager Elipid Tesha said on Saturday.
In a telephone interview with this paper, Mr Tesha said the regional airport had currently undergone massive extension and was due to be expanded per the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards.
According to Mr Tesha, Arusha Airport has been extended by 200 metres, where it now spans 1,860 metres. However, Arusha-Minjingu Aiport Road still proves to be an obstacle to its operations.
"The road itself is an obstacle to the airport as it is within 40 metres from the runway, which is against international standards," he said. On average, the airport registers 140 flights, raking about 3.5bn/- revenue.
On December 18, 2013, Ethiopian Airlines flight ET-815 from Addis Ababa-Bole Airport (ADD), Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO) and Mombasa, Kenya inadvertently landed at Arusha Airport.
The aircraft came to a complete stand still just before the end of the runway.
The plane made a safe landing on Runway 27 of Arusha Airport and stopped within the length of the runway spanning 1,631 metres.
During attempted 180 degrees' turn, nose and main landing gear wheels exited the runway and were stuck in soft soil. There was neither damage to the aircraft nor was there any casualties to 233 passengers who had boarded the aircraft.
It was later towed back to the runway and made a successful take-off without passengers for Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) on December 20, 2013.