The Works, Transport and Communication Minister, Eng Isack Kamwelwe, has urged the Tanzania Airports Authority (TAA) Ministerial Advisory Board (MAB) to put patriotism first as they execute their duties.
The call to the board, which is under the chairmanship of Dr Masatu Chiguma, was made today at the Tanzania Ports Authority one stop centre here in the city during the board’s launching ceremony.
Other board members are Eng VenKayamba, Dr Paschal Mugabe, Eng Daniel Kiunsi and Mr Alex Haraba.
“I would like to take this opportunity to remind you that the positions that you are entrusted with are for serving our nation efficiently, honestly and with integrity for the wider national interests,” said minister Kamwelwe.
He also wanted the board to cooperate shoulder to shoulder with the TAA management and other government institutions, the Tanzania National Roads Agency (TANROADS) in particular.
“I want you to embrace cooperation, if you are to construct more airports that are owned and managed by TAA,” he directed.
Adding: “This will enable the Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) and other airlines to spread their wings.”
Currently TAA manages and owns 58 airports.
For those airports to be more attractive to airlines and passengers, he called for strengthening of airport’s security including fencing them.
“Despite achievements being registered by TAA, the authority is still grappling with a challenge of failing to improve various airport infrastructures,” said minister Kamwelwe.
He also ordered them to strategize airport operations for the new norm amid the COVID-19 pandemic whose first case was confirmed in China.
The global aviation sector has never undergone a greater shock than what it is experiencing today in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Air travel is close to a standstill with airlines grounding most, if not all of their fleet, due to the closure of country borders and the consequent collapse of air travel demand.
“During this global disruption, you are required to rethink your normal business and operational processes in a few key areas so that airports do not become a loophole for imported cases,” said Mr Kamwelwe.
He also wanted good supervision of land and infrastructure, including the Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) terminal three building.
“As I speak it is only a few of TAA’s lands which have title deeds, this is unacceptable,” he said, directing them to ensure they mend their way.
Meanwhile, Minister Kamwelwe urged the board to come up with various techniques for the survival of airports.
Speaking earlier, the TAA director general, Eng Julius Ndyamukama, said the authority has been growing year after year since its inception.
Citing an example of revenue collection, he said revenues flew from Sh6.3 billion to Sh105.2 billion on the yearly basis.
He further said that a number of passengers jumped to 3.473 million, well above compared to the previous 846,906.
For his part, MAB’s Chiguma, said the board would work closely with TAA so that they could hit the target of taking the aviation sector to the a