The Netherlands is to help fund a $36.4 million project to revamp Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) over the next few years.
The gateway is due to be upgraded and expanded, with the runway, taxiways and aprons all set to be overhauled and resurfaced.
In addition, to increase the capacity of the airport, a new taxiway will be built and the terminal building will be upgraded and expanded to accommodate the increase in tourists coming into Northern Tanzania.
To fund the project, the governments of the United Republic of Tanzania and of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, have signed a grant agreement.
The grant is part of the Netherlands’ ‘Facility for Infrastructure Development’ or ORIO programme, and will cover the development phase of the rehabilitation project.
Under the supervision of Kilimanjaro Airports Development Company (KADCO), the operator of the gateway, the Netherlands Airport Consultants (NACO) will prepare the designs for the renovation and expansion of the airport.
The design phase – due to start this month (January 2012) and to last for between 6-8 months – is expected to cost around $581,248 and will be 100% financed by ORIO.
Once the development phase is completed and the design is approved, the Dutch government will provide a second grant to cover 50% of the cost of the actual refurbishment.
The other 50% is to be financed by KADCO from the airport’s revenues.
Meanwhile, according to KADCO, the tendering process and construction works are expected to take place in 2013/2014.
Marco van de Kreeke, CEO of KADCO, said: “This is a big step for KADCO and Kilimanjaro Airport. The rehabilitation of KIA has been an important goal since the airport’s privatisation.”
According to van de Kreeke, passenger numbers over the last decade at KIA have grown from 200,000 in 2002 to an expected 650,000 passengers in 2011.
Elsewhere, the KADCO management is said to be negotiating with a number of international flag carriers to open new routes to the gateway.
Van de Kreeke added: “The airport management is very confident this development strategy will continue to bear fruit and further stimulate growth.
“The airport needs to keep up with growth and international standards. With this grant from the Dutch government, KIA will get the necessary expansion and facelift to accommodate international traffic in the next decade.”