Business Profiles Featured

Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA): Propelling Excellence in Tanzania

The aviation industry is such a vast sector which has a significant impact on a region’s economic development on both a commercial and industrial level. Therefore, having a governing body which focuses on ensuring this industry runs smoothly, safely, and efficiently is crucial to bringing continued economic development to regions. Consequently, in Tanzania, the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) is working to ensure the safety, security, and regularity of civil aviation across the country through its effective leadership, management, and safeguarding operations.

Established as a corporate body under the Civil Aviation Act Cap 80 (R.E. 2006), TCAA is a semi-autonomous public institution responsible for overseeing the aviation industry in the United Republic of Tanzania. The Act mandates that TCAA will provide safety, security, and economic oversight of Tanzania’s civil aviation industry. For TCAA its role can be broken down into three focused categories: air transport services, aeronautical airport services and air navigation services. These key areas allow the authority to maintain the existing aviation infrastructure, and work to propel the industry towards excellence in both Africa and beyond.

TCAA is governed by a 7-member board of directors, which includes 6 non-executive members and the Director General of the Authority. The president of the board appoints the chairman, whilst the vice-chairman and other directors are appointed by the Minister responsible for aviation. However, to make the board more efficient it has 4 committees under its operations. These committees include the executive committee, the human resources and administration committee, the audit and finance committee, and the technical committee. All committees are responsible for undertaking an in-depth analysis of any issues before they are referred to the board with recommendations.

For air navigation, TCAA is responsible for the safety, regulation, and efficiency of air navigation. This includes the AIM publication which is designed by the Authority to provide all the aeronautical information necessary to ensure the safety, regularity, and efficiency of air navigations for the entire territory of Tanzania and the Airspace over the high seas encompassed by the Dar es Salaam Flight Information Region (FIR). In addition, to fly into or across the airspace of Tanzania, TCAA provides short-term licensing which is essential for all foreign registered aircraft wishing to do so.

TCAA also issues licenses under the Civil Aviation (Personnel Licensing) Regulations to flight crews, remote pilots, aircraft maintenance engineers, air traffic controllers, flight operations officers and cabin crew members. These licenses maintain the security and regulation of personnel travelling through the airspace and airports. In addition, TCAA is mandated to license all services in the country as part of its Air Service License (ASL) operations.

Inside Tanzania’s airport, TCAA are responsible for airside airport operations, ground handling, in-flight catering, and aviation fuelling. Therefore, the all-encompassing role that TCAA plays across the country’s aviation industry has marked it as a crucial authority which is keeping both Tanzanian and African commercial aviation moving seamlessly. This is so crucial as the economic impact of commercial air transportation brings sustained development for the country, and so maintaining such high standards is critically important to ensure a continued customer base for Tanzania’s aviation industry.

However, the aviation industry in Tanzania extends back to 1929 in East Africa before independence. Aviation activities began in the region by Florence Wilson in Kenya who established Wilson Airways for charter services and later scheduled airmail services between Nairobi, Dar es Salaam and Kampala. However, following the outbreak of the World War in 1939, all aircraft were taken by the Air Force to join the fight. Following the war, East African Airways Corporation (EAAC) was made responsible for all air transport across the region from 1945 under the British colonial empire. Starting in Nairobi, Mombasa, Zanzibar, Morogoro and many other locations across the region, EAAC continued to grow the aviation industry, adding further aviation routes across Africa, Europe, and the Far East. By this point, the aviation industry in West Africa had become part of a global network which can still be seen throughout the region’s industry today.

A crucial turning point for the region’s aviation industry came when the East African states gained their independence from British rule. This caused significant changes in the civil aviation sector, with the creation of The East African Common Services Organization, a regional independent body. Over the years all East African countries began to establish their own civil aviation bodies, which saw Air Tanzania Corporation (ATC) established to oversee the commercial transport of Tanzania. ATC makes up the foundations of what TCAA is today.

Looking towards the future, it has recently been announced that TCAA has entrusted Indra, a leading ATM and CNS system provider, to enhance the aviation safety and sustainability of Tanzania’s civil aviation industry and its role across the continent. Indra will implement an advanced aeronautical information management (AMI) system. The system is one of the most advanced in existence and will provide Tanzania’s airlines and controllers with reliable updates and high-quality aeronautical data enabling TCAA to plan and manage flights more efficiently. This movement towards advanced digital innovation with Indra highlights the ever-growing and innovative role that TCAA continues to play across the commercial aviation sector.

As we have seen, TCAA’s commitment to developing the sector through the promotion and efficiency of civil aviation continues to position it as a leading authority across Eastern Africa. With a range of operations designed to ensure the safety, security and regularity of civil aviation, Tanzania continues to propel the country’s civil aviation system towards excellence, marking it as a vital aviation district in Africa and beyond.