The Sumbawanga Airport in Tanzania is set to receive US $24.9m boost for the upgrade to international standards. On completion, the airport sets to stimulate economic growth in the region while at the same time attract business opportunities in the neighbouring countries such as Zambia and DRC.
The airport will also become a gateway to tourism attractions such as Kalambo Falls in Kalambo District. The Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Engineer Atashasta Niditiye, yesterday visited and inspected the airport during his two day working tour in Rukwa region.
Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Engineer Atashasta Niditiye, affirmed that the government through the Tanzania Airports Authority (TAA) has secured over US $24.9m, a soft loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) for the major rehabilitation and expansion of the Airport.
Additionally, the government has set aside some US $1.5m to compensate about 97 resi dentswhose areas will be taken for the project.The Acting Rukwa Regional Commissioner (RC), Dr Halfany Haule who is also the Sumbawanga District Commissioner (DC) said the airport will provide the area with an ample transportation facility that will open up the region’s sky to international market.
Rukwa residents are embracing the expansion since it will increase opportunity for economic growth at individual and regional level as well. Historically, the airport was built in 1945 shortly after the World War II meant to serve small airplanes for spraying farms with insecticide.In 1985 it was rehabilitated and was officially opened by the former President Ally Hassan Mwinyi for domestic flights.