BY AMBROSE GAHENE
Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) has improved its aeronautical infrastructure, despite challenges brought about by COVID 19 pandemic. This was revealed by Hon Justice Dr. Stephen Kavuma, UCAA Chairman Board of Directors, during an inspection visit at Entebbe International Airport by Ministry of Works and Transport top officials recently. Dr Kavuma said the last time the Authority hosted the Minister of Works and Transport was in early 2020.
‘Since then tremendous progress has been made in the development of aeronautical infrastructure in spite of the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic to the aviation industry locally and internationally’, he said.
He said In order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 through air transport, the Authority undertook a number of initiatives, which UCAA highlighted in the detailed power point presentation and tour.
‘To demonstrate the COVID-19 impact in terms of passenger traffic statistics, Entebbe International Airport handled 1,980,000 international passengers in 2019 compared to 565,541 passengers in 2020. Even after resumption of passenger operations, the situation is yet to stabilize’, he added.
Dr Kavuma pointed out that; In January 2021, the Airport handled only 24,095 arrivals, 29,409 departures and 4,279 transit passengers, which is an average of 1,868 passengers per day in comparison to an average of 5,400 passengers per day in 2019.
‘While in the beginning we allowed only one flight per airline per day from October to December 2020, since January two flights have been permitted per airline per day and those with traffic have an opportunity to even increase the frequency. Initial plans envisaged full resumption of operations in June 2021, but with discovery of COVID-19 vaccines, including those to be received through Entebbe Airport later this afternoon, the situation may normalize sooner than later’, he concluded.