Following the WB delegation visit to monitor of the Zanzibar Abeid Amani Karume international airport expansion, it has been confirmed that the upgrade will be completed by August 2014.
The new airport is expected to accommodate 1.6 million passengers compared to the current number of 700,000 annually and hold modern planes.
The construction had started in October 2012, and the World Bank had loaned the government of Zanzibar USD55 million for constructing a taxiway for modern large planes, as well as for the expansion of runways.
Since the tourism industry generates around 30% of the Zanzibar income, and 80% of foreign exchange earnings, Zanzibar government is taking all the measures possible to improve tourism infrastructure and to ensure safety of incoming passengers and tourists.
The airport is receiving an increasing amount of passengers, with March 2014 numbers being over 70,000, as well as a growing amount of tourists – 181,301 in 2013, which is 7% higher than in 2012.
Mr Juma Malik Akil, Principal Secretary of the Infrastructure and Communications Ministry, stated: “The improvement of the airport will also prompt the government to construct a bigger passenger building to make the airport meet international standards”.
The newly expanded airport will be having an increased number of runways, an apron for big planes, and a number of special taxiways.