The government pullout in sponsoring aviation studies has been cited as the cause of the challenges facing the industry.
Briefing journalists yesterday in Dar es Salaam the Chief Inspector of Air accidents in the ministry of Transport John Nyamwihura said: “ The government has now withdrawn from sponsoring pilot training unlike in the previous years when it used to recruit Form Six leavers who were then trained by Canadians.”
He noted that the system used nowadays in recruiting pilots whereby aviations students have their own sponsors hence absence of uniformity in providing the service.
According to him, the lack of uniformity in experience among pilots and technicians forces the authority to conduct further training, which cost 300m/- for three persons in a period of six month.
Meanwhile, the Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) Ground Safety Officer Method Barbara said poor drainage systems, perimeter fences, worn out shoulder paths and absence of stop ways in regional airports hinder smooth safety operations of the industry.
For his part, the Director General of Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) Fadhili Manongi mentioned other challenges facing the industry as insufficient inspectors, saying there were only thirteen while the required number is eighteen.
Manongi said the absence of the government training support is due to the change of policies in the country which led to introduction of cost sharing in the education sector.
He said the aviation industry has many requirements to safeguard against accidents in the air, so that it can continue being the safest mean of transport as possible. He acknowledged that there were twelve accidents last year. Furthermore, he acknowledged that, “aviation safety is a shared responsibility that we all have crucial part to play.”