Tanzania homes in on new radar
The Tanzanian Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) has announced plans for the acquisition of at least four modern aerospace surveillance radar systems to replace the obsolete technology at the Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) and expand national aerospace coverage to airports outside the capital, Dar es Salaam, writes Oscar Nkala.
In a statement posted on the government website early in August, TCAA
director-general, Hamza Johari, said the agency had budgeted $24 million for the acquisition of two sets of surveillance radars for the JNIA and Mwanza International Airport, a busy, though largely domestic-oriented terminal.
“After fitting the new radar systems in Dar es Salaam and Mwanza, we are going to purchase two more radars that will be installed at Kilimanjaro International Airport and Mbeya Airport. With those four radar sites operational, we will be able to monitor the entire Tanzanian airspace and even beyond,” said Johari.
“Currently, there is only one operational airport radar surveillance instrument covering the whole country and it has been in operation for 14 years, since it was purchased in 2002.”
Johari added that the system, which had a 10-year lifespan, had outlived its usefulness by four years.
According to the civil aviation authority, Tanzania needs to have at least one advanced surveillance radar system stationed at each of the four international airports to ensure full coverage of the national airspace, including the land and maritime borders.
Recently, Tanzanian deputy minister for works, transport and communications, Engineer Edwin Ngonyani, told a stakeholders meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) that the country lost Sh.18 billion ($8.25 million) annually in potential revenue from radar coverage taxes because of lack of equipment.
He said neighbouring Uganda and Kenya were already earning billions annually from radar coverage charges because they had the necessary capabilities.
The country’s failure to adhere to international air safety standards has cost it membership to the IATA, which has only one member airline in Tanzania following the suspension of the national flag carrier amid safety concerns about its fleet of