Tanzania Transportation Liberalizes Services at Four Airports

The ground handling and aviation fueling services at four airports within the Tanzania transport sector have been liberalized by the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA).

The four airports that will be affected by this liberalization are Julius Nyerere International Airport, Kilimanjaro International Airport, Mwanza Airport and Zanzibar International Airport.

According to a joint statement that was released to the East African Business Week (EABW) last week by the TCAA, the TCAA Board Chairperson, Mwantumu Malale, and the TCAA Director General, Margaret Munyagi, as far as ground handling services are concerned, self-handling will be permitted for domestic licensed operators at each of the four airports based on three conditions.

These conditions require that the flights that are under code-share arrangements be excluded, that the air operator be licensed by the TCAA to provide ground handling services, and that the air operator enters into an agreement with the relevant airport operator.

In addition, the TCAA statement indicated that for other airports with 500,000 passengers or fewer per annum, the same services would be granted and, in addition to self-handling, they would also be served with a single independent service provider.

The TCAA Board of Directors officially decided to liberalize both the ground handling services and the aviation fueling in 2007 following the decision No. 1, subject to addressing the legal, technical and commercial issues of the decision so as to properly guarantee the safety and efficiency of the pending operations.

In order to satisfy these requirements and to determine whether and how to begin the liberalization of the four airports, the TCAA hired the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as a consultant.

The IATA conducted a study of the four airports against similar airports in eastern and southern Africa between June and November of 2008, during which time the primary stakeholders – TCAA, Air Tanzania Company Ltd, Precision Air Services Ltd, Kilimanjaro Development Company Ltd, Swissport (T) Ltd, BP (T) Ltd, Total (T) Ltd and Equity Aviation Services (T) Ltd – were all consulted at every stage.

Following the conclusion of the study, the TCAA officially announced that the airport operators at the four airports could begin issuing invitations for request for proposals (RFP) to provide ground handling services and fuel supplies.

In order to comply with the required provisions of the ICAO Annex 11- Air traffic Services, the TCAA is also currently working to initiate a thorough safety management system (SMS) for the air traffic services (ATS) system, which is expected to be fully operational by June.

Consultancy services will once again be employed by the TCAA in order to develop their air traffic services safety management system (ATS SMS) manual.

In the end, the official safety assessment will include potential risk mitigation strategies for Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar, Mwanza and Arusha.