Popular Tanzanian tourist airport, Arusha, receives a Sh6.3 billion facelift

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The Arusha airport in Tanzania, which is well-known for its tourist charter flights, will resume full operations following a massive Sh6.3 billion renovation boost.

To enable the 24-hour operation and extend the runway’s length to 1,860 meters, plans are in the works to put floodlights throughout its length.

On the outskirts of Arusha City lies one of the country’s oldest structures. To accommodate larger planes, the runway has been lengthened. The extension, which cost Sh1.9 billion to complete, included the construction and renovation of the main apron.

The Sh968 million in civil works that were funded on the parallel taxiway and far apron improvements to asphalt level are also complete. An extra Sh640 million was spent to renovate the parking lot by re-carpeting it with a second layer of bitumen.

Arusha Airport, which is located along Tanzania’s Dodoma Road, is one of the 59 airports that the Tanzania Airports Authority (TAA) manages, maintains, and operates.

The Group II category facility operates as a “domestic only” airport for scheduled flights and is the final stop for charter flights for tourists and businesses.

It was built in 1956 by Colonel Grey, a settler farmer who worked in the Burka and Mateves districts west of the city. There, Colonel Grey raised sorghum and coffee. The airport was formally handed over to the government in 1961 when the country gained its independence.

To maintain and manage all government airports and airstrips on Tanzania’s Mainland, TAA was founded in 1999.

Plans released by Atupele Mwakibete, the deputy minister for Works and Transport, during a recent visit, indicated that the facility will be open 24/7.

Currently, the airport is only open for 12 hours a day. According to the deputy minister, the current work will lengthen the runway to 1,860 meters.