Zanzibar International Airport (ZIA): One of the world's worst airports


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The Zanzibari government and investors in the tourism industry are pointing accusing fingers at one another with each blaming the other for making Zanzibar International Airport (Zia) one of the world's worst airports.

The Zanzibar Association of Tourism Investors (Zati) blames the Government for the mess the airport is in, saying it has neglected the facility.

It says persistent tourist complaints about low-quality service, rundown buildings and lack of basic facilities have prompted some international travel organisations to include Zia in their lists of the world's worst airports.

Another decisive factor has been visitors' exposure to and experiences with all sorts of vices and inefficiencies at the airport such as corruption, service overcharges, theft, red tape, delays and dishonesty, among others.

But the authorities accuse the investors of overburdening the facility with uncoordinated tourist arrivals and refusing to adopt a slotting system for charter planes.

Communication and Transport permanent secretary Salmin Senga told this newspaper that the facilities could currently handle a maximum of 200 passengers at a go, but were sometimes forced to cater for up to 1,500 travellers.

He said the refusal of companies hosting tourist charter planes to space scheduled landing created unnecessary congestion at the airport and wreaked havoc on the provision of services.

Civil aviation director Malik Hanif said they were having sleepless nights trying to solve myriad problems at the airport built in 1975.

The two sides met early last week to sort out their differences on the matter and chart out ways to address the crisis at the airport that is threatening the future of tourism on the Spice Islands.

"We had a roundtable meeting on Monday with government officials on the matter and they outlined strategies to address the problems, including the building of a new terminal that will be privatised," a Zati member told this newspaper.

During Zati's annual general meeting last month, members decried the current state of the airport, and challenged the Government to quickly act on the matter. They said the situation and heightened frustration among tourists using the airport could hamper new tourism investments as well as cut the number of tourist arrivals.

They said the situation would also impact negatively on Zanzibar's economy, which increasingly depended on tourism for foreign exchange earnings and as a source of revenue for businesses.

Tourism, which has overtaken agriculture as the most important sector of the economy, accounts for 22 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP). It is growing at nine per cent annually.

"The same spirit that has led to big improvements in roads and water supply should be applied in facelifting the airport, which is the gateway to Zanzibar," Zati chairman Simai Mohammed said.

Speaking after the AGM, Mr Hanif told The Citizen that more than $100 million would be required for Zia's current and future needs.

He acknowledged problems dogging the airport, but said both the Government and tourism operators shared the blame for the facility operating beyond capacity, which, he added, was the most serious problem afflicting Zia.

Mr Senga told The Citizen that the Government had signed a Sh4.6 billion agreement with financier Jamani Investment for extension of the passengers' terminal as a short-term measure.

He added that work on the project was expected to start soon, and would take between six and eight months. The long-term solution is to build another terminal to cater to international travellers.

Mr Senga dismissed reports that Zia was among the world's worst airports, saying, "We are aware of this 'worst' reputation thing, but we are of the view that this the opinion of individual visitors and not any reputable organisation."

He added that congestion mainly occurred on Wednesdays when up to five charter planes with about 300 passengers each landed at the airport almost simultaneously.

"That number is far too big for a single terminal that was originally designed to accommodate 100 passengers. The charter companies and tourist hotels should take this into consideration and agree to at least space arrivals at two hours' intervals," Mr Senga noted.

Organisations that regard Zia as one of the worst airports in the world include Washington-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, which publishes the influential Foreign Policy (FP) magazine.

The mission of the award-winning publication of global politics, economics and ideas is to explain how the world works, particularly how the process of globalisation is reshaping nations, institutions, cultures and daily lives.

Proposing the inclusion of Zia in the worst airports list, one reader recently wrote: "Check-in is done outside the building on wooden stalls resembling a bazaar, inside the building, which is made up of one single medium-sized room, there are no fans, no air conditioning, among others."

The airport was built in 1975 and was handling over 14,000 flights, 418,814 passengers and nearly 600 tonnes of cargo annually by early last year.

Budgetary constraints have led to inadequate investment in basic infrastructure and facilities with the runway being the hardest hit.

The contract with a Chinese firm hired to refurbish the airport was terminated last year due to the shoddy nature of the company's work.

Mr Senga said new tendering for the World Bank-financed project had begun, adding that work on the airport would take off next May or June.

There have been complaints about rampant corruption at the airport with foreigners allegedly being grossly overcharged for entry visas.

Fumba Hotel owner Edwin van Zwan told the Zati meeting that tourists were forced to pay 50 euros (Sh80,000) instead of $50 (Sh60,000) to enter Zanzibar.
Concerns Zati voiced to the Government during the meeting also included gross indiscipline among Zia workers, too many porters, uncollected garbage, a lack of proper flight information, illegal sale of tickets and currencies and cheating at luggage scales.

Source:TheCitizen
 
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Pundit

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Nilikuwa nasoma "How I Found Livingstone" cha Henry Morton Stanley katika jitihada za kupata picha ya nchi yetu in the 1800's, nikaona anakandia sana Zenj with unflattering comments kiasi cha kuamini kuwa alikuwa ana an arrogant condescending grandiosity .

Sasa zaidi ya miaka 125 baada ya Stanley kutukandia, na miaka 43 ya muungano, bado tunashindwa kuendesha vitu vyetu nashindwa kujijibu kama kweli Stanley alikuwa condescending au la, ni sisi wenyewe ndiyo tuna matatizo.
 
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Huu ni mfano mzuri wa namna tunavyoshindwa kujiendeshea mambo, hata yenye manufaa makubwa kwa uchumi wetu.
Hebu tufikirie tu mara moja, kama Zanzibar wangeamua tu na kutoa kipaumbere sekta hii ya utalii na kuiendeleza ipasavyo, si ingetosheleza kabisa kuinua pato zima la visiwa vile?
Kwa mfano: wangeweza kuingia watalii million moja kwa mwaka, pato linalotokana na hawa watalii halitoshi kubadili hali ya uchumi?
Ni kitu gani kinachozuia pasiwepo na maandalizi ya kutimia kwa azma kama hiyo?
 
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maendeleo gani waswahili hao kazi yao kucheza bao tuu na kula tende,cant beleieve na utalii wote walionao hata Airport hawana...si mrudi kwa sultani tuu maana uhuru hauwasaidii nasikia hata maji na umeme hamna,njaa tupu!
 
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MzalendoHalisi

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Du,
Je kisingizio ni Muungano na hili? Hivi KIA na Dar viwanja kwa sasa- vina hali gani?
 
Icadon

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Icadon

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Kodi inayolipwa pale uwanjani inakwenda wapi hasa?
Ila kusema kweli viwanja vyetu vinahitaji ukarabati wa hali ya juu, Najiuliza kwa nini waliinvest kwenye radar ya mamilion wakati kiwanja hata kampuni 20 hazitui pale.

Ila kwa ndugu zetu wa visiwani hawakawii kuulaumu muungano kwenye hili la kiwanja chao as well.
 
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Aiseh Icadon na mimi nilijiuliza kwa mnini zile billions za radar wasingemwaga kwenye kujenga Airport au kuimarisha zilizopo? jibu sina ila najua ni rushwa tuu na uvilaza wa hao waungwana wanaotuongoza
 
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Engineer Mohamed

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Koba na ICADON..........

hizo ndio salamu za EID MUBARAK kwa WAZANZIBARI?

nawahi kwenda kusali EID nikirudi tutaliongelea kwa makini hilo suala.

EID MUBARAK TO YOU ALL.
 
F

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Fundi Mchundo

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Mimi naona kuna mkono wa Muungano katika hili suala. Laiti wangeruhusiwa kujiunga na OIC mapesa yangemwagika hivyo kuwawezesha kujenga uwanja wa kisasa. Hii yote inasababishwa na roho ya wivu ya watu wa bara wasioitakia Zenj maendeleo! Nahisi vile vile hapo uwanjani wamejaa "wanyamwezi" ndio maana mambo yako shaghala baghala!
 
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_SiDe_

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maendeleo gani waswahili hao kazi yao kucheza bao tuu na kula tende,cant beleieve na utalii wote walionao hata Airport hawana...si mrudi kwa sultani tuu maana uhuru hauwasaidii nasikia hata maji na umeme hamna,njaa tupu!
Maneno yako msumari KOBA, umemaliza kilakitu.
Tano zako mkuu
 
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Haya ndiyo matunda ya kuwakumbatia wawekezaji wa nje na ukoloni mamboleo. Karibu hoteli zote za kitalii kwenye pwani za Zanzibar zinamilikiwa na wawekezaji wanaoishi nje ya Zanzibar. Pia Wanaoziendesha hizo hoteli (mameneja) wametoka nchi za nje, kwa hiyo ni vigumu sana serikali ya Zanzibar ku-monitor mapato halali ya mahoteli hayo ukilinganisha na idadi kubwa ya watalii wanaokwenda Zanzibar kila mwaka. Hawa wawekezaji hawatajali kamwe Airport iya Zanzibar iko katika hali gani, wao wanachojali ni masilahi yao binafsi na kuendeleza huko wanakoishi. Tatizo kubwa la wawekezaji wa namna hii ni pale malipo ya malazi ya mahoteli hayo yanapofanyika huko nje na serikali zetu kushindwa ku-monitor idadi ya watalii wanaoingia nchini na sehemu wanapokaa hao watalii. Kazi kweli, kweli.
 
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The Zanzibari government and investors in the tourism industry are pointing accusing fingers at one another with each blaming the other for making Zanzibar International Airport (Zia) one of the world's worst airports.

The Zanzibar Association of Tourism Investors (Zati) blames the Government for the mess the airport is in, saying it has neglected the facility.

It says persistent tourist complaints about low-quality service, rundown buildings and lack of basic facilities have prompted some international travel organisations to include Zia in their lists of the world's worst airports.

Another decisive factor has been visitors' exposure to and experiences with all sorts of vices and inefficiencies at the airport such as corruption, service overcharges, theft, red tape, delays and dishonesty, among others.

But the authorities accuse the investors of overburdening the facility with uncoordinated tourist arrivals and refusing to adopt a slotting system for charter planes.

Communication and Transport permanent secretary Salmin Senga told this newspaper that the facilities could currently handle a maximum of 200 passengers at a go, but were sometimes forced to cater for up to 1,500 travellers.

He said the refusal of companies hosting tourist charter planes to space scheduled landing created unnecessary congestion at the airport and wreaked havoc on the provision of services.

Civil aviation director Malik Hanif said they were having sleepless nights trying to solve myriad problems at the airport built in 1975.

The two sides met early last week to sort out their differences on the matter and chart out ways to address the crisis at the airport that is threatening the future of tourism on the Spice Islands.

"We had a roundtable meeting on Monday with government officials on the matter and they outlined strategies to address the problems, including the building of a new terminal that will be privatised," a Zati member told this newspaper.

During Zati's annual general meeting last month, members decried the current state of the airport, and challenged the Government to quickly act on the matter. They said the situation and heightened frustration among tourists using the airport could hamper new tourism investments as well as cut the number of tourist arrivals.

They said the situation would also impact negatively on Zanzibar's economy, which increasingly depended on tourism for foreign exchange earnings and as a source of revenue for businesses.

Tourism, which has overtaken agriculture as the most important sector of the economy, accounts for 22 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP). It is growing at nine per cent annually.

"The same spirit that has led to big improvements in roads and water supply should be applied in facelifting the airport, which is the gateway to Zanzibar," Zati chairman Simai Mohammed said.

Speaking after the AGM, Mr Hanif told The Citizen that more than $100 million would be required for Zia's current and future needs.

He acknowledged problems dogging the airport, but said both the Government and tourism operators shared the blame for the facility operating beyond capacity, which, he added, was the most serious problem afflicting Zia.

Mr Senga told The Citizen that the Government had signed a Sh4.6 billion agreement with financier Jamani Investment for extension of the passengers' terminal as a short-term measure.

He added that work on the project was expected to start soon, and would take between six and eight months. The long-term solution is to build another terminal to cater to international travellers.

Mr Senga dismissed reports that Zia was among the world's worst airports, saying, "We are aware of this 'worst' reputation thing, but we are of the view that this the opinion of individual visitors and not any reputable organisation."

He added that congestion mainly occurred on Wednesdays when up to five charter planes with about 300 passengers each landed at the airport almost simultaneously.

"That number is far too big for a single terminal that was originally designed to accommodate 100 passengers. The charter companies and tourist hotels should take this into consideration and agree to at least space arrivals at two hours' intervals," Mr Senga noted.

Organisations that regard Zia as one of the worst airports in the world include Washington-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, which publishes the influential Foreign Policy (FP) magazine.

The mission of the award-winning publication of global politics, economics and ideas is to explain how the world works, particularly how the process of globalisation is reshaping nations, institutions, cultures and daily lives.

Proposing the inclusion of Zia in the worst airports list, one reader recently wrote: "Check-in is done outside the building on wooden stalls resembling a bazaar, inside the building, which is made up of one single medium-sized room, there are no fans, no air conditioning, among others."

The airport was built in 1975 and was handling over 14,000 flights, 418,814 passengers and nearly 600 tonnes of cargo annually by early last year.

Budgetary constraints have led to inadequate investment in basic infrastructure and facilities with the runway being the hardest hit.

The contract with a Chinese firm hired to refurbish the airport was terminated last year due to the shoddy nature of the company's work.

Mr Senga said new tendering for the World Bank-financed project had begun, adding that work on the airport would take off next May or June.

There have been complaints about rampant corruption at the airport with foreigners allegedly being grossly overcharged for entry visas.

Fumba Hotel owner Edwin van Zwan told the Zati meeting that tourists were forced to pay 50 euros (Sh80,000) instead of $50 (Sh60,000) to enter Zanzibar.
Concerns Zati voiced to the Government during the meeting also included gross indiscipline among Zia workers, too many porters, uncollected garbage, a lack of proper flight information, illegal sale of tickets and currencies and cheating at luggage scales.

Source:TheCitizen
Haya ndiyo matunda ya kuwakumbatia wawekezaji wa nje na ukoloni mamboleo. Karibu hoteli zote za kitalii kwenye pwani za Zanzibar zinamilikiwa na wawekezaji wanaoishi nje ya Zanzibar. Pia Wanaoziendesha hizo hoteli (mameneja) wametoka nchi za nje, kwa hiyo ni vigumu sana serikali ya Zanzibar ku-monitor mapato halali ya mahoteli hayo ukilinganisha na idadi kubwa ya watalii wanaokwenda Zanzibar kila mwaka. Hawa wawekezaji hawatajali kamwe Airport iya Zanzibar iko katika hali gani, wao wanachojali ni masilahi yao binafsi na kuendeleza huko wanakoishi. Tatizo kubwa la wawekezaji wa namna hii ni pale malipo ya malazi ya mahoteli hayo yanapofanyika huko nje na serikali zetu kushindwa ku-monitor idadi ya watalii wanaoingia nchini na sehemu wanapokaa hao watalii. Kazi kweli, kweli.
 
Kibunango

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Ile airport kwa kweli ni ndogo sana kwa hali halisi ya sasa...
 
Mbu

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...There have been complaints about rampant corruption at the airport with foreigners allegedly being grossly overcharged for entry visas.

Fumba Hotel owner Edwin van Zwan told the Zati meeting that tourists were forced to pay 50 euros (Sh80,000) instead of $50 (Sh60,000) to enter Zanzibar.

Concerns Zati voiced to the Government during the meeting also included gross indiscipline among Zia workers, too many porters, uncollected garbage, a lack of proper flight information, illegal sale of tickets and currencies and cheating at luggage scales.

Source:TheCitizen
...Interesting;

Shs80,000 (50 euros) - Shs60,000 (50 USD $'S) = Shs20,000

Sidhani eti hao watumishi wanauchungu wa kweli kuingiza hilo salio la Shs20,000 kutoka kwa kila mtalii kwenye buku la mapato ya serikali.

Imagine Charter flight moja inatua Zanzibar na wageni 150...

150 Pax * Shs20,000 = Shs3,000,000. Ulaji huo!!!!

Na mashaka iwapo hizo euros hazibadilishwi into dollars kubalance mahesabu ya serikali (malipo ya viza kufanywa kwa USD $'s) na chajuu kuliwa na wajanja wachache...
 
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Kodi inayolipwa pale uwanjani inakwenda wapi hasa?
Ila kusema kweli viwanja vyetu vinahitaji ukarabati wa hali ya juu, Najiuliza kwa nini waliinvest kwenye radar ya mamilion wakati kiwanja hata kampuni 20 hazitui pale.

Ila kwa ndugu zetu wa visiwani hawakawii kuulaumu muungano kwenye hili la kiwanja chao as well.
Radar ilikuwa dili ya watu wachache... Hujui hilo?
 
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Fundi Mchundo

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Nani yule aliyedai hakuna mafisadi Zanzibar? Hapa hakuna hata kidole cha Muungano na mabo ndio balaa!
 
Sikonge

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Mimi naona kuna mkono wa Muungano katika hili suala. Laiti wangeruhusiwa kujiunga na OIC mapesa yangemwagika hivyo kuwawezesha kujenga uwanja wa kisasa. Hii yote inasababishwa na roho ya wivu ya watu wa bara wasioitakia Zenj maendeleo! Nahisi vile vile hapo uwanjani wamejaa "wanyamwezi" ndio maana mambo yako shaghala baghala!
FM, vipi tena? Mbona unatutusi Wanyamwezi? Ehh makubwa haya.
Hebu subiri kwanza. Wivu wa watu wa bara umesababisha hayo. Wanyamwezi twatokea bara eti. Watu wengi wa Zenji ni Wanyamwezi. Sasa huu wivu wa watu wa bara kwa watu hao hao wa bara waishio Zenji unakaaje?
Nilishakutana na watu wengi wa Zenji na wengine hukiri kuwa wanatokea Unyamwezini. Sallim Ahmed Sallim nilikuja pata habari kuwa ana damu ya Sikonge. Mwinyi pia ni Mtabora. Sasa naona kwa nini hali iko vile. Zanzibar kama sehemu ya Tabora, ilikuwa maarufu saana zamani. Tangu hapo imesimama kwa kila kitu kuanzia miaka hiyo ya 70 mwanzoni wakati Michael Jackson akiimba ABC girl na Tabora ni Tabora Jazz wakitesa na "Muumba, dua tunakuomba pokea.."
Dawa ya Tabora na Zenji ni moja tu. Kuuwa kabisa hizi Tabia za Kiarabu zilizotawala huko. Utakuta mtu asubuhi pale Tabora anauza sindano za kushonea nguo "ehhh nsinge, nsinge..." Unashindwa amini kama anaishi kwa kuuza hizo Sindano (tena bila uzi) au ndiyo ukifika usiku anakuwa Mkabaji.

NB:- Kwa kuchekesha zaidi ni kwamba, Wakwere ni Wanyamwezi waliozamia Pwani na kufanya makazi Bagamoyo. Ndiyo maana kimila, Mkwere hana utani na Mnyamwezi. Na wanaheshimu sana Wanyamwezi. Nilishafanya kazi na hawa watu hapo Dar, na walikuwa wakitania au kutukana kila mtu kasoro mimi. Wakwere nao wamekaa "Kinyamwezi "? Mfano ni mzuri ni Muungwana.
 

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