Airport workers offload cargo from a plane at Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam. Picture: File By ROSEMARY MIRONDO Posted Sunday, December 20 2011 at 00:00 Tanzania expects a boost in air traffic passengers numbers from the current 1.5 million to 8 million per year once the country implements a plan to construct a third terminal at its main airport. The expansion of Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) would commence once an investor for the project is identified. According to the legal secretary of Tanzania Airports Authority (TAA), Ramadhani Maleta, the capacity of JNIA was too limited to cater for the current requirements. We have expanded and improved buildings located at JNIA Terminal II in order to meet the demands of increasing passengers since it was constructed in 1984, when the number of passengers was not as high as it currently is, he said. Despite the improvements, the airport was yet to meet the demand. The authority was therefore finalising the process of finding an investor to construct a third terminal in accordance with international standards to meet the current requirements. The government was in the process of seeking funding for the project in which several companies have shown interest. Eight companies have shown interest in investing in the project through the public-private partnership and they have already submitted their proposals for the project. What is being awaited is the tendering procedure, Mr Maleta said. The feasibility study had been conducted last year and the process was currently being reviewed. According to TAA, major renovations on the infrastructure, involving runways, taxiways and parking of aircraft (Apron) and fluorescent lighting system had been carried out. Due to major renovations that were carried out at the airport since 2003 to 2010, this airport currently has the capacity to serve approximately 30 flights per hour and any flight may stop to park without problems, said Mr Maleta. In 2003, rehabilitation works, including electrical system were done at the airport at a cost of $8.5 million. During the Second Phase in 2006, runways and the apron were rehabilitated at a cost of $29.9 million. The Third Phase in 2008 included renovation of the taxiways and runways at a cost of $36.7 million. The Minister for Transport, Omari Nundu, said the recent renovations had boosted the airports capacity as it was now able to handle 30 flights per hour instead of the previous eight. We are proud that the airport is now in good shape. The works included major renovations of the aircraft runway and the parking area, he said. The renovations have led to significant reduction in daily queues of aircraft landing and taking off at the airport. According to Mr Nundu, plans were also underway to construct a standard terminal building to cater for the increasing number of passengers at the airport. The construction of Songwe Airport and the renovation of 17 other airports around the country would also be completed this month. The Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority director-general, Fadhili Manongi, said the number of passengers at the airports had increased three fold between 2000 to 2010, from 1,206,821 to 3,027,512, equivalent to an increase of 151 per cent.