United States billionaire conservationist Dar-es-Salaam is partnering with the government of Tanzania to develop a new airport near Serengeti National Park.
The construction will be financed by Mr Paul Jones, who has been heavily invested in tourism and conservation in Tanzania. The new development will serve to ease the traffic of tourists intending to visit the national park. Approximately $30.8 million has been set aside for the airport structure, which will also cut travelling time for tourists, as the nearest airport to the national park is currently located in Arusha, 309km – or four hours - away.
"The airport was designed to ease the movements of tourists, who intended to tour the world famous wild animal migration, thus adding to the number of both local and international tourists," the Constituency's Member of Parliament Dr Kebwe stated. There is more to gain than lose in erecting an airport closer to the National Park.
"We are planning to start construction of the airport this year in a town called Mugumu which is located 20-30 km from Serengeti National Park so as to ease the movement of tourists," Dr. Kebwe said.
The airport is going to be of a medium size so that flights with the capacity of up to 60 passengers will be able to use it. Kebwe noted that the construction of the airport was aimed at exploiting the opportunity of both local and international tourists, who do not find road transport conducive for them due to poor infrastructure leading to the park.
"The availability of this airport will enable tourist from different parts of the world to land directly in Mugumu airport which will be only minutes away from wildlife in the park," he said.