By Ngusekela David,
The National Institute of Transport (NIT) completed an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment and recently received building permit certificate from National Environment Management Council (NEMC) for construction of three (3) buildings for pilot training at Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) in Tanzania. The buildings include Aircraft Maintenance Hangar, Students’ Hostel and Staff Residences.
The Project Environmental and Safeguard Officer, Dr. Nuru Kitara, said that it is a legal requirement by the Government of Tanzania and the World Bank to obtain this certificate before implementing any project that have public interest and thus the whole procedure of attaining this certificate includes a feasibility study which includes all stakeholders around the project area.
A team of experts from NIT surveying the area at Kilimanjaro International Airport where three buildings for training pilots will be established.
He mentioned that the stakeholders involved in the feasibility study are water & electrical supply companies, building agencies and the society surrounding the Airport and thus the feasibility study report incorporated all opinions of the stakeholders that the Institute will be working on it during construction.
Dr. Kitara pointed out the most important things highlighted in the report that will be considered during construction including giving priority to the people around the project to get casual labour, to protect them from environmental harm that may be caused by the construction like air or noise pollution and ensuring their security during construction.
The Head of Department of Flying and Operations Management at NIT, Mr. Phabian Mongo said a move to establish a Government Flying School for pilot training started back in 2012 whereby the Institute shows submitted a requested the then Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication (now Ministry of Works and Transport) to dedicate airports for use in pilot training. In 2013, the Ministry through Tanzania Airports Authority dedicated Dodoma and Tanga Airports to be used by the Institute for pilot training.
Until 2018, the Institute was unable to commence training as it continued to accomplish preparations including ATO certification and acquisition of training aircraft and it was therefore revealed that there is a need to identify the airport which is currently viable for pilot training provided the changes which has happened in the aviation sector in line with the Government reforms to shift the Capital City to Dodoma.
Therefore, in March 2019 the institute established a team of experts from the National Institute of Transport, Tanzania and AVIC-International Flight Training Academy, South Africa to assess and recommend the viable airport for pilot training among Julius Nyerere International Airport, Kilimanjaro International Airport, Dodoma Airport and Tanga Airport.
After the assessment, Kilimanjaro International Airport was proposed as the viable airport for pilot training amongst other airports on the merit of availability of fuel (AVGAS) supply for training aircraft, availability of adequate space for construction of training and aircraft maintenance infrastructure, low traffic density leading to effective air traffic control clearances and on-time-performance, and proximity to other airports like Arusha Airport, Moshi Airport, TPC Airstrip and Mombo Airstrip which might be used for diversion in case of emergencies.
Mr. Mongo added that in December 2020 the Institute secured 60 actres of land at KIA which was allocated by the Government of Tanzania as a move to establish the Government Flying School and that Tanzania Airports Authority completed the land handover to the Institute in February 2021. The Institute will temporarily commence pilot training at Julius Nyerere International Airport as the construction of the necessary training facilities at KIA is concluded.
The three (3) buildings to be built at KIA are among the eight (8) buildings (five building built at Mabibo Campus) that are funded by the World Bank through East Africa Skills for Transformation and Regional Integration project (EASTRIP) being implemented by the Institute.
The Writer is the Marketing and Communication Officer at NIT