Govt to install new Distance Measuring Equipment at Entebbe Airport

arly next year, the government shall install two new Distance Measuring Equipment at Entebbe Airport to further help pilots navigate and land safely, Justice (rtd) Steven Kavuma, the board chairperson of Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA), has revealed.

“As a sign of commitment to improve safety in air traffic management, UCAA is in the process of upgrading the Very High Frequency (VHF) Extended Radio Network and it will handle installations in Entebbe, Soroti, Gulu, Masindi and Kasese in order to further improve reliability and coverage of communication between pilots and controllers,” he said.

He said this during the celebrations by the Uganda Air Traffic Controllers Association (UGATCA) to mark 100 years of the profession, held at Hotel Africana in Kampala on Friday.

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  • Justice Kavuma hailed air traffic controllers for the great job they play in ensuring the safety and efficiency of flights in the air and on the ground.

“The advice and instructions you issue to pilots enable them to avoid collisions and ensure the expeditious and orderly flow of aircraft in the airspace. You are unsung behind-the-scenes heroes that have over the years done everything in your means to ensure passengers and cargo are safely and efficiently flown to their destinations,” said Justice Kavuma.

The Works and Transport Minister, Gen Edward Katumba Wamala urged air traffic controllers in Uganda to make their profession known to members of the public for many to join.

“You are our unsung heroes in air transport but you need to talk about yourselves because people don’t know you. You need to organize some programs on these media houses. That way, you will be able to attract more people to join the profession,” he said.

He further urged air traffic controllers to use their association to seek better working conditions and have their challenges addressed, but of course not through industrial action.

UGATCA president, Mr Tony Kepler Ssenkubuge said over the years, air traffic control has transformed for the better.

“It is my commitment and that of the air traffic control fraternity in Uganda to assure the world that we will continue to work with dedication and commitment to ensure Ugandan airspace is safe, secure and efficient,” he said.

 The UCAA Deputy Director General, Olive Birungi Lumonya said they employ 110 air traffic controllers but expressed concern that only 12 of these are female.

She noted that recent global studies indicate that only 20 per cent of countries in the world have a female representation of more than 20 per cent.

Adopted from: The Daily Monitor November 21, 2022

CLARIFICATION ON AIRPORT SECURITY REPORT

Reference is made to social media reports referring to a security inspection report dated November 3, 2022, which is part of an internal mechanism aimed at continuous improvement. It is important to note that security and safety reports of this nature are normal in the aviation industry, and at Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA), they are conducted on a quarterly basis.

The importance of the routine inspection reports is to enable management to identify gaps and come up with Corrective Actions Plans, where necessary. Just like an internal audit report, not all issues presented in the report(s) are upheld (especially after clarification and submission of evidence).

Baggage Handling System (BHS)

UCAA has a Baggage Handling System (BHS) that is used for two purposes; to check-in baggage (convey baggage from the check-in counters to the Baggage make-up area), and for secondary security screening of baggage. The baggage conveyor component of the system is fully operational. However, the system’s automatic mode, which relates to secondary screening of baggage is temporarily experiencing challenges. Nevertheless, there are back-up measures, including thorough security screening at the primary level (first security screening on entry to departure) and re-screening of baggage using sniffer dogs, among others, in the baggage make-up area (where the BHS is located). Even when the BHS is fully operational in automatic mode, sniffer dogs are still deployed and they have proved to be more reliable.

In spite of the temporary security screening defect on the BHS, the system still serves its primary objective of conveying baggage. With the mentioned screening interventions, any security gaps that would have been created are adequately closed. In the meantime, as part of the mitigation measure, the internal team is finalizing a maintenance mechanism. Systems of this nature are like a human being. They are equally prone to developing complications that are regularly worked on, as and when the need arises.

Rubber on the runway

In relation to rubber on the touch down and take-off sections of runway 17/35, this is normal at all airports in the world because every time an aircraft lands, it leaves rubber deposits on the runway, especially on the runway touch down zone. The more landings on a runway, the more rubber deposits. However, rubber on the runway should not only be observed with the eye, but measured using Friction Testing Equipment that provides the average figures of Friction Co-efficient that will determine whether the situation is dire and has reached an alarming state or in a planning maintenance state.

Friction Tests of the runway are regularly undertaken at Entebbe International Airport. The Friction Testing machine indicates an alarming state when the Friction Co-efficient reading is equal or less than 0.35. However, the recent Friction Test Co-efficient reading from Entebbe International Airport’s runway 17/35 was 0.45, an indicator that the runway is safe for use. Whenever the Friction Test Co-efficient readings drop to 0.41, this triggers the need to undertake derubberisation. We have not yet got to that state so there is no cause for alarm.

Marine capacity

The capacity of the Marine section is much higher than what is stated in the preliminary report. For instance, Rescue 2, which is only one of the Marine Boats in place has 6 life rafts with each raft having capacity to rescue 37 people, a total of 222 people. In addition, each life raft is designed with a survival rope all around it on which about 20 people can hold during a rescue mission. The survival ropes provides for an additional estimated total of 120. The minor issues that the boat experienced are already being addressed.   

Swamp vegetation:

The swamp vegetation depicted in a photo is way outside of the airport’s perimeter fence and outside of the area that UCAA maintains.

A number of these and other issues raised in the draft report have since been discussed with the security agencies, and harmonized with a clear update and implementation roadmap. For the majority of the issues cited, mitigation measures were already in the process.

MANAGEMENT

Entebbe airport tightens Ebola control measures

All departing and arriving passengers through Entebbe International Airport are currently being screened using modern thermo scanners to detect their temperature levels and also look out for any possible signs and symptoms of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).

 Speaking to this publication at the weekend, Dr Samuel Kigula, a port health officer at the airport, said, “Ebola screening was intensified in September when we heard of the outbreak in Mubende. We have all equipment to detect Ebola such as thermo scanners, temperature guns to screen whoever is going or coming into the country.”

 He added that on average, they screen about 5,000 departing passengers and about 4,000 arriving passengers every day and that they haven’t reported any Ebola case yet.
 “We set resting positions and isolation stations whereby if you are found with high temperature, we put you aside to rest within an interval of 10 minutes plus, as we  keep monitoring you and if your temperature persists  being high, we notify Entebbe Regional Referral Hospital where the response team is stationed to come on board  then put you in an isolation centre   whoever we haven’t had any traveller with persistent temperature,” Dr Kigula explained.

“Therefore, I want to assure Ugandans and those using  the airport  that we are safe and we are ready to combat whichever variant  comes in,” she added.

Mr Vianney Luggya, the manager of public affairs at Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) said their health team is well equipped to handle any emergency.

“We have a port health team that comprises experts and they are working hand in hand with the ministry of health. We have provided them with all the necessary facilities in terms of equipment and personnel, they aren’t doing this for the first time,” he explained. “ So the people using this equipment have the experience that’s required and we have deployed this equipment in various areas of the airport,” he added.

Adopted from: The Daily Monitor October 10, 2022

Entebbe International Airport Passenger Traffic Continues to Grow

Entebbe International Airport passenger traffic continues to grow with  156,081 international passengers handled  in August 2022 (73,899 arrivals and 82,182 departures), an average of 5,034 passengers per day compared to 4,892 in July.

The steady increase in passenger traffic according to Mr. Vianney M. Luggya , the Spokesman at the Civil Aviation Authority , (CAA)   is attributed to a number of factors, including widespread vaccination across the globe, which has led to relaxation of some previously stringent travel requirements.

“The fully vaccinated are exempted from PCR test requirements at Entebbe and confidence building measures by airports, including Entebbe  and  Airlines across the globe have reassured passengers leading to increased travelers,” Luggya added .

Other factors for the growth in numbers of people going through Entebbe airport included -the travel by pilgrims to and  from Mecca plus Ugandans  traveling to the Middle East for employment opportunities.  International conferences are back  and tourism numbers are rising too.

Adopted from: Uganda Update News September 23, 2022

Entebbe Airport now fully automated; security, safety to improve

The Uganda Civil Aviation Authority(UCAA) in 2016 embarked on a $9.5million (Shs40billion) automation process that included the establishment and operationalization of  an Airport Operations Database (AODB), a Computerized Maintenance Management system (CMMS), and a Terminal Operations Control Centre (TOCC) at Entebbe International Airport.

On Thursday, the automated system was commissioned by the State Minister for Works and Transport Fred Byamukama.

Speaking at the event, Byamukama said the Ugandan government is committed to supporting and providing an enabling environment for the growth of the aviation industry in the country to spur economic development.

He noted that such projects like the automation of the airport show the commitment.

“This will help to improve on the security and safety of the airport. Now we can  easily monitor the surrounding of the airport because of the automation. This will save the aviation industry the expenditures they were making to deploy people to do this job,” Byamukama said.

“Efforts towards automation of systems, especially in the aviation industry ought to be applauded because embracing modern technologies reduces human interference and errors which is key in enhancement of safety.”

Byamukama said by  automating the  air navigation system of Entebbe Airport, Uganda is  enhancing  information sharing and coordination with pilots, other airports and also fulfil compliance with international provisions.

The State Minister for Works and Transport applauded President Museveni for inviting South Korean “friends” who funded the automation project through a grant  that cost shs40 billion and of this, Uganda paid only shs4 billion.

He noted that government attaches a lot of importance to the aviation industry because it guarantees the country direct international access and in turn promotes trade, tourism and social economic development.

To this, Minister Byamukama said government has concluded various Bilateral Air Service Agreements(BASAs) with several countries brining the current  total to 51, 27 of which are operation with the latest ones being with Finland, Colombia and Spain as well as reviewing previously existing BASAs with Italy , Belgium and Germany.

“The opening of new routes, revival of the Uganda Airlines and the ongoing development of a second international airport at Kabaale in Hoima district are all intended to accommodate current and future air traffic.”

The Uganda Civil Aviation Authority Director General, Fred Bamwesigye, traffic at the airport has continued to grow as the aviation industry recovers from the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He cited an example of last month ( Aug 2022) recorded the highest traffic  since the lockdown with  a total of 156,081 international passengers (73,899 arrivals and 82,189 departures) being handled at Entebbe International Airport.

“Airport improvements are moving targets. Whereas now we are carrying out expansion works for Entebbe International Airport to ensure the number of passengers we accommodate grows from two million per year to at least 3.5 million, we will continue to respond to pressures of expansion in the air business and move to six million passengers handled per year with time,” Bamwesigye said.

Underscoring the importance of the automation, the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority(UCAA) boss said it will see Entebbe International Airport become one of the best not only in the region but in the world.

“Previously, the systems at the airport were not speaking together and we were automating them in parts. This project brought every system together so that you can see them at one touch. Air navigation systems, air traffic control systems, airport management systems, especially safety management systems and other airport systems in administration are now all synchronized and you can see each part at a go,” Bamwesigye told the Nile Post in a separate interview.

“The system is also now synchronized with security cameras all the time. You can now see what is happening in all corners of the airport in one go unlike before when we had separated systems. “

The UCAA boss said the Koreans have also trained Ugandans to use the system for effective use.

Bamwesigye explained that with time, even upcountry airports will be automated as part of the project.

Asked to explain how much will be saved by automating systems, the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority boss explained that in aviation, security and safety are key, other than the amount of money saved.

“We can’t quantify in terms of money but rather in terms of efficiency . Because we are in the business of safety and security, when these improve and have very few cases of lapses, we call it a gain. “

Project

The automation works that started in 2016 were funded by the South Korean government through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).

According to the Korean Ambassador to Uganda, Park Sung-soo, the project is testament to the close relations between Uganda and South Korea.

“This project has borne testament to the fruits of collaboration between Uganda and the Republic of Korea. Ultimately, the project is aimed at enhancing operational efficiencies and enhancing passenger experience which will also improve the rating of Entebbe International Airport by international aviation standards,” Sung- soo said.

The automation

The automation of the airport means there will be real-time monitoring of consumption and use of services like electricity and air condition through the computerized maintenance management system(CMMS) and will ease the burden on Uganda Civil Aviation Authority facility management staff.

This also means that maintenance and repair costs can be reduced by automatically checking key facilities in the airport.

The automation means that staff  at the Terminal Opetation and Control Centre(TOCC) can ably monitor the airport operation status in real-time, thereby enabling quick response to emergencies and failures.

The installation of the Air Traffic Services Message Handling Services (AMHS), a standard for aeronautical ground-ground communications as part of the automation means that Uganda’s aviation information processing system now meets the ICAO global standards.

The AMHS enables real-time sharing of key aviation information not only within six other aerodromes in Uganda but also with Kenya and Tanzania.

The automation has also seen the installation of an Air Traffic Control CCTV system that includes long range cameras along the two runways at the airports and covering what were hitherto, blind spots for air traffic controllers.

Also as part of the automaton ,100 outdoor and indoor cameras, two large LED boards for flight information display have been installed in the new passenger terminal building as well as two movable LED kiosks to allow passengers departing from the airport to check real-time flight information.

Adopted from: The Nile Post September 22, 2022

Manager Accounting

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Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) is a corporate body responsible for regulation of civil aviation in Uganda. It manages Entebbe International Airport (EIA) and thirteen (13) other upcountry aerodromes. UCAA carries out its work in conformity with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs). The Authority now plans to recruit suitably qualified Ugandans of impeccable integrity and commitment to fill the following position in its establishment as detailed below: –

JOB REF                 :         UCAA/ADV/EXT/01/2022

POST                   :        MANAGER ACCOUNTING

REPORTS TO        :         Director Finance

SALARY LEVEL     :         13

VACANCIES          :        01JOB PURPOSE       :         To lead Financial Accounting, Stores and Pay and Benefits processes by ensuring accurate accounting data and records. Also prepares accurate and timely financial reports including statutory statements.

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Senior Licensing Officer

EXTERNAL JOB ADVERTISEMENT

Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) is a corporate body responsible for regulation of civil aviation in Uganda. It manages Entebbe International Airport (EIA) and thirteen (13) other upcountry aerodromes. UCAA carries out its work in conformity with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs). The Authority now plans to recruit suitably qualified Ugandans of impeccable integrity and commitment to fill the following position in its establishment as detailed below: –

JOB REF                 :         UCAA/ADV/EXT/05/2022

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JOB PURPOSE       :         To discharge responsibilities normally organized around five major functional areas –Examinations (flight crew, aircraft maintenance personnel, Airtraffic controller) licensing, training, and regulatory and administration.

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Senior Flight Operations Inspector

EXTERNAL JOB ADVERTISEMENT

Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) is a corporate body responsible for regulation of civil aviation in Uganda. It manages Entebbe International Airport (EIA) and thirteen (13) other upcountry aerodromes. UCAA carries out its work in conformity with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs). The Authority now plans to recruit suitably qualified Ugandans of impeccable integrity and commitment to fill the following position in its establishment as detailed below: –

JOB REF                 :         UCAA/ADV/EXT/04/2022

POST                   :        SENIOR FLIGHT OPERATIONS INSPECTOR

REPORTS TO        :         Principal Flight Operations Inspector                                                                          

SALARY LEVEL     :         11

VACANCIES          :        01

JOB PURPOSE       :         To participate in enforcing adherence to ICAO Flight Operation procedures by Flight Crews and Air Operators.

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Senior Airworthiness Inspector – AVIONICS

INTERNAL JOB ADVERTISEMENT

Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) is a corporate body responsible for regulation of civil aviation in Uganda. It manages Entebbe International Airport (EIA) and thirteen (13) other upcountry aerodromes. UCAA carries out its work in conformity with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs). The Authority now plans to recruit suitably qualified Ugandans of impeccable integrity and commitment to fill the following position in its establishment as detailed below: –

JOB REF                 :         UCAA/ADV/EXT/06/2022

POST                   :        SENIOR AIRWORTHINESS INSPECTOR – AVIONICS

REPORTS TO        :         Principal Airworthiness Inspector – AVIONICS                                                                                       

SALARY LEVEL     :         11

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JOB PURPOSE       :         To ensure that all Aircraft in Uganda, Air Operators, Aircraft Maintenance, Organizations and Engineering personnel maintain Avionic Airworthiness and safety standards at the highest possible level. 

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