According to a recent report by The Citizen, the minister for Tanzania Infrastructure Development, Dr. Shukuru Kawambwa has announced the need for a regional strategy in order to address the current shortage of qualified personnel both in the Tanzania aviation sector as well as throughout the region.
During the recent opening of a two-week training session of aviation safety programs and safety management, Dr. Kawambwa explained that these personnel were required in order to ensure the safety, security and efficiency of air transportation throughout the region.
In addition, the minister also explained that Tanzania is like many other African countries in that it does not currently have enough training institutions that have been set up in order to groom professionals in the aviation field.
“There is a need for African countries to collaborate and assist each other to face these challenges,” he said, “I recommend the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) to enhance its support and guidance to ensure that aviation safety in Africa is improved.”
Dr. Kawambwa went on to say that one of the country’s current strategies includes involving other stakeholders in the process of creating policies that will help to ensure that the aviation sector not only remains safe, but also continues contributing to the overall economic development of the country.
According to the Minister, because aviation safety is an important issue both for the Tanzanian government as well as for Eastern and Southern Africa in general, issues involving international air transport cannot necessarily become the sole responsibility of a single state, as was the case in the Yemen Air accident in Comoro Island
“It was a surprise that some bodies were recovered some 582 kilometers away from the epicenter of the accident,” said Dr. Kawambwa.
The minister went on to say that this incidence should help to raise both determination and awareness in the region concerning the methods that are employed when handling aviation safety issues.
In addition, Dr. Kawambwa also explained that, because of the Comoro incident, the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) has been directed by the government to focus its attentions on safety management rather than on disaster prevention.
According to The Citizen, Dr. Kawambwa has said that some of the first steps that are being planned by the government in an effort to improve the aviation sector include the upgrading of seven airports in Arusha, Mwanza, Shinyanga, Kigoma and Sumabwanga.
To this end, the minister explained that the government, which is working in collaboration with the World Bank, has already completed the required feasibility studies in order to determine the cost of the project as well as other issues concerning the eventual implementation of the project.