Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Govt eyes new airport in capital dodoma

By Veneranda Sumila
The Citizen Reporter
Dodoma. For many Tanzanians and foreigners, spending a colossal amount of money when flying to Dodoma is nothing new.Yet, it is a reality that many people have been forced to depend on roads as the only means to reach Tanzania’s capital city.

However, the government has been spending a lot of money to fly its officials and ministers from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma during long budget sessions of Parliament each year.Lack of enough passengers and freight to and from Dodoma that will enable airlines to provide scheduled services is among factors that make it expensive to fly to the city.

Currently a passenger has to pay between Sh300,000 and Sh500,000 for a one way ticket from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma.“The fact that a few passengers fly to and from Dodoma is the biggest cause for the rise in the cost of flying to and from the region,” the deputy minister for Transport, Eng Charles Tizeba, told the morning session of Parliament yesterday.

He was responding to a question by Ms Pindi Chana (Special seats-CCM) who wanted the government to ensure that there are scheduled flights from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma. She said this would reduce the cost incurred by the government to fly its officials.

“The government is using a lot of money to fly top officials in Dodoma, It is now the right time that the government ensures there are scheduled air services from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma,” suggested Ms Chana.

Currently flights in Dodoma are provided by charter or leased planes.“The government will continue with its plans to connect Dodoma with other regions by constructing a new airport at Msalato,” said Eng Tizeba.He added that construction of the airport at Msalato is among plans to build ten airports this year.