Zanzibar legislators concerned over delay in airport expansion

airport_BBM_ExplorerA view of the Zanzibar airport, which is set to become one of the best airports in East Africa after the expansion work finishes. (Image source: BBM Explorer/Flickr)Legislative members of Zanzibar have expressed concern over the delay in expansion of the Zanzibar International Airport

Ministers from the autonomous Tanzanian state have raised concerns that stem from the fact that, even after dispatching of funds for the project, construction at the airport site has been delayed.

Legislator Jaku Hashim Ayoub demanded answers to the rising 'suspicions' about the project in the assembly while deputy general secretary of the Civic United Front Party, Ismail Jussa Ladu, said that the delays were an indication of the government’s failure in its plans.

Minister for infrastructure and communication Hamad Masoud Hamad said, “Work at the Abeid Aman Karume International airport has not been halted. The delays in construction have resulted from the need to improve on the design.

“A Chinese company, Beijing Construction Engineering Group, is engaged in doing the work at the Zanzibar airport,” he added.

The minister added that the delay was required to meet the demands of the structure adequately. He said the changes prompted an increase in construction costs from US$57.5 million to $70.4 million.

Hamad added that the project was supported by the World Bank and was expected to be complete by January 2014.

“We are hoping that the airport will become one of best airports in the East African region with aerobridges and latest luggage and cargo handling services,” he said.

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