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Kilimanjaro International Airport renovation commences.

BAM International starts KIA renovation.

Kilimanjaro Airports Development Company (KADCO) Managing Director Bakari Murusuri has confirmed that a Netherlands based BAM International contractor for renovating and extension of Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) is on site since last week.

 The firm won the multibillion Shillings project to overhaul the airport and make it a fully-fledged tourist gateway at the cost of $39.7 million (Sh89.2 billion), expected to be completed in 24-months from now.Murusuri told The Guardian mid-week that the construction will give the airport a new face and attract major global airlines in the region. He said the airport was faced with increased traffic, demands for customer satisfaction, security concerns and growing competition which called for the need to give it a facelift. The 44-year-old airport in Kilimanjaro Regions has over the years undergone a series of touch-ups and renovations, with the current one expected to give it the world-class status. KIA modernisation will include the expansion of the terminal buildings, increasing the length and width of taxiways and runaways, expanding aircraft aprons as well as establishing other essential services at the terminal. BAM will also install new airfield ground lighting and floodlights along the aprons, resurface the runaways, and create continuous loop linking runways and taxiways to eliminate delays in landing and take-off. The exercise is expected to boost an annual increase of 25 per cent in passenger traffic, while also able to handle nearly 1.2 million passengers annually as opposed to the former built in 1972 that was designed to handle 200,000 passengers. Natural Resources and Tourism Minister, Lazaro Nyalandu was recently quoted as saying said recently that the airport revamping was crucial as the gateway to Mount Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti National parks, the world famous destinations. Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) Executive Officer, Sirili Akko welcomed the face-lift saying such an initiative should go hand in hand with other tourism-related infrastructure and recreation facilities to lure tourists.