Uganda Tourism Board officials touring some facilities at Entebbe International Airport guided by UCAA boss Bamwesigye
The Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) Ag. Director General, Fred Bamwesigye has revealed that there are plans to improve and upgrade facilities of some of the thirteen upcountry aerodromes managed by UCAA. He also updated the country about the 20 year National Civil Aviation Master Plan (2014-2033) that earmarked upgrade of Kasese, Arua and Gulu to international airport standards.
“Master Plans and Engineering Designs for the three airfields have been developed and the development plans only await funding. In addition, five airfields; Kidepo, Arua, Gulu, Pakuba and Kasese were designated for international entry and exit from within the region,” Bamwesigye said.
The UCAA boss made the remarks on Thursday 23rd July 2020 during the visit of the members of the board from the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) to UCAA at Entebbe International Airport’s VIP press room.
UTB management and Board of Directors that was led by the Chairman, Eng. Daudi Migereko, had a fruitful stakeholders’ engagement with UCAA and toured facilities at Entebbe Airport in readiness for future resumption of passenger operations.
Bamwesigye noted that a number of interventions are being under taken by the Government to develop an air transport network that will connect the country to all major cities of the world to compete successfully for economic growth opportunities.
“Government is undertaking the development of a second international airport at Kabaale in Hoima district to support the oil and gas sector,” he said, adding that the national airline has been revived and will greatly improve the efficiency and cost of air transport service in the region.
Bamwesigye further revealed that Entebbe International Airport is also undergoing an upgrade and expansion of its infrastructure to meet the growing air traffic that has been rising steadily every year.
He also noted that the covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on pertinent sector like tourism, trade and agriculture impacting on the social and economic development of countries.
“The Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) recognizes the tremendous contribution of the tourism industry to the development of air transport in the country. For some time UCAA has been the only Ugandan entity affiliated to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation and we have together with you jointly promoted Uganda’s tourism at a number of international tourism exhibitions in Berlin, London and other destinations,” he said.
He added that in 2019, while celebrating the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s 75th anniversary of promoting safe air transport in the world, UCAA worked with the Jinja City Council and erected a memorable monument at the Source of the Nile in Jinja.
“While other ICAO member states decided to raise the ICAO flag at the peak of mountains in their respective countries, UCAA chose the Source of the Nile because it’s an international iconic tourism site in the world, which has also significantly contributed to the development of air transport in the country,” Bamwesigye said.
He added: “We are pleased to host the Board of UTB to review the status of the airport in relation to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that have been put in place in readiness for future resumption of passenger operations.
Let me take this opportunity to inform you that UCAA is working hand in hand with aviation industry stakeholders to put in place strategies that are aimed at putting in place mitigation measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 through air travel when passenger operations eventually resume.”
Currently, UCAA has been facilitating evacuation flights and repatriation of Ugandans that are stranded abroad.
“These Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and protocols are being harmonized with input from all players and one of my staff will make a presentation for your input,” he said.