Kilimanjaro Airport set to undergo major face-lift

Kilimanjaro Airport
The Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) is to undergo a major improvement programme which aims to elevate the facility to an international tourist gateway.

The multimillion-dollar transformation plan will see all runways, apron, taxiways and passenger lounge refurbished to offer holidaymakers a hassle-free trip to northern Tanzania’s tourist circuit.

Already, the Kilimanjaro Airport Development Company (Kadco) that manages operations of the KIA has secured a US$30 loan million from Netherlands-based firm, Orion Grand Facility, for the project.

Kadco Finance and Corporate Services director Bakari Murusuri said in an interview that 50 per cent of the package is a soft loan and the other part is a grant. He informed that KIA preposition design work commenced last month.

“The project will take three years and the idea behind is to give KIA a different outlook” he noted, adding that since last year Kadco has been running the promotion blitz to different markets overseas, seeking to attract major global airlines to use the airport.

Kadco chief executive officer Marco van de Kreeke said that during the renovation, the runway, taxiways and aprons of the airport will be overhauled and resurfaced.

“A new taxiway will be built to increase the capacity of the airport and the terminal building will be upgraded and expanded to accommodate the growing flow of tourists.”

Annually, over 650,000 passengers pass through KIA which is only second to Dar es Salaam’s Julius Nyerere International Airport in size and number of passengers, he said.

However, with increased traffic, demand for customer satisfaction, security concerns and growing competition, Kadco has found it imperative to benchmark itself with pace setting organisations, meeting and overcoming emerging challenges along the way, said Van de Kreeke.

“This is a big step for Kadco and Kilimanjaro airport. The rehabilitation of KIA has been an important goal since the airport’s privatisation,” he added. KIA was the first airport to be privatised in the country in early 2000s.

Source: The Guardian,www.ippmedia.com, reported by Charles Ngereza
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