Tanzania plans to install four new radars — at Julius Nyerere International Airport, Kilimanjaro, Mbeya and Mwanza airports—to enhance surveillance of its airspace.
Though Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) — the agency charged with procuring the systems — has not indicated how much the installation will cost, the project is estimated to cost millions of dollars and scheduled for completion early next year.
“The intention is to have a network of airports that will cover the whole country, with the capacity to handle modern aircraft as well as to provide services for 24 hours,” said TCAA managing director Hamza Johari.
TCAA expects that the new radar systems will not only enhance the safety of Tanzania and parts of neighbouring states’ airspaces but also boost income generated from various fees paid by airlines using the service. It is reported that some pockets of the country’s airspace are currently served by radar systems from neighbouring countries.
The TCAA has floated a tender for manufacturing, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of the systems, with implementation of the project expected to start at the end of this month.
The authority said the objective of the installation is to make civil aviation contribute more to the national economy as well as match with the global industry growth and needs.
The country’s aviation industry saw passenger traffic increase from 4,895,833 in 2015 to 5,065,184 in 2016.
The surge in traffic locally has been attributed to the growth of the economy while refurbishment of upcountry airports and the entry of private players such as Fastjet have also ensured more domestic routes.
Procurement of the radar systems follows the country’s acquisition of two new aeroplanes from Canada, which were commissioned recently to give the struggling national carrier ATCL a new lease of life.