Entebbe Airport: Menzies Aviation Switches to Electric Ground Handling Equipment

The electric equipment worth Shs3.6 billion will not only provide a safer environment but will also add value to customers’ experiences and those of airline companies

Jackie Namatovu  August 6, 2023

 Electronic ambulance and folklift tractors at Entebbe International Airport on Sunday

The management of Menzies Aviation, formerly known as Entebbe Handling Services Ltd. (ENHAS), has installedelectric ground handling equipment at Entebbe International Airport.

This was in compliance with the directive by the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority to put in place a digital system to manage ground services.eports.com&dtd=33659

The General Manager of Menzies Aviation, Nouamani Zahouani, said switching from diesel equipment to electric ones is a huge step in the fight against carbon emissions at Entebbe International Airport.

He said the acquisition of electric equipment worth Shs3.6 billion will not only provide a safer environment but will also add value to customers’ experiences and those of airline companies.

“This is a big relief to our environment and a big step in the expansion of Entebbe International Airport,” he said, adding, “The new equipment supports quick export flow management.”

An electric cobus that will transport first class and business passengers

The Director of Airports and Aviation Security at UCAA, Eng. Al-Hajj Ayub Sooma, who commissioned the use of new ground handling electric equipment, said the development is in line with government efforts to respond to some of the challenges Entebbe International Airport faces.

“At the airside, Apron One has just been rehabilitated. This is one of the initiatives to upgrade and expand Entebbe International Airport,” said Eng. Sooma.

“Airlines must align themselves to the international standards of civil aviation. It’s good news, Menzies Aviation has responded to CAA’s request to switch from diesel-driven equipment to electric ones. This is a big achievement because we are responding to net zero pollution.”

UCAA officials at the commissioning of electric equipment at Entebbe International Airport

The general manager of Entebbe International Airport, Col. Emmanuel Balungi, said the new electric forklifting machines will go a long way in filling the gaps that currently exist in handling huge volumes of cargo at the new cargo facilities.

The manager of customs at Entebbe International Airport, Simon Esunget, said the new electric equipment will enhance client experience on top of driving the agenda of quality services at the airport facility.

He challenged the business community not to reduce the volume of imports but rather to concentrate more on increasing exports.

Adopted from: The Chimp Reports August 6, 2023

Update on the State of Uganda’s Aviation Industry Delivered by Uganda Civil Aviation Authority’s Director General, Mr. Fred K. Bamwesigye at the Uganda Media Centre on Thursday, August 3, 2023

Members of the press,

Ladies and gentlemen.

It is a pleasure for me to join you this morning to share with you an update on developments in Uganda’s aviation industry.

I am pleased to mention that Entebbe International Airport recorded a total of 842,429 international passengers (413,223 arrivals and 429,206 departures) in the first part of the year (January to June 2023). This reflects 134,679 more passengers than was registered in the same period of January to June 2022 which recorded a total of 707,750 international passengers (326,384 arrivals and 381,366 departures). The January to June 2023 traffic is also higher than that recorded before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the same period of January to June 2019, which registered 836,472 international passengers (405,458 arrivals and 431,014 departures).

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) estimated full recovery of Africa’s aviation industry from the adverse effects of COVID-19 to take place in 2024. Going by the half year performance, Uganda may attain this by the end of this year. The increase in traffic is partly attributed to relaxation of COVID-19 travel restrictions across the globe, tourism promotion initiatives, coming on board of the national airline and attraction of more air operators to Uganda’s airspace through liberalization of air transport services, among others.

I will share with you a table that highlights comparative details of Jan-June statistics over three different years.  

 No.ITEMJan-June (2019)Jan-June (2022)Jan-June (2023)
1International Arrivals405,458326,384413,223
2International Departures431,014381,366429,206
3Transit Pax83,14243,79357,469
4Domestic Arrivals6,4583,8635,116
5Domestic Departures5,8873,4114,314
8Aircraft Movements15,46013,71514,575
9Over flights7,7877,03811,203

The project for upgrade and expansion of Entebbe International Airport is also moving on smoothly and is at 85% level of completion, overall. Several sub components of the project have been completed, including srengthening and rehabilitation of runways 12/30 and 17/35 and the associated taxiways.  Aircraft Apron 4, 2 and 5 were also completed. The only pending works are on expansion of Apron 1, whose works are on-going and construction of a new 20,000 square meters passenger terminal building, which is at 40% level of completion. It will connect to the current terminal building. On completion of all the works by July 2024, Entebbe International Airport’s terminal capacity will be enhanced from the current 2 million passengers a year to at least 3.5 million passengers per year. We also have a separate project for expansion of the current terminal building, which is nearing completion. The departure area is already in use, and soon a canopy to the terminal will be completed by September 2023 so that passengers are dropped-off by the terminal so as to simply move from the car to the terminal.

A number of upcoming events are lined up. Uganda is scheduled to undergo a Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme – Continuous Monitoring Approach (USOAP-CMA) to be conducted by ICAO in September 2023. It will later on be followed by the Universal Security Audit Programme (USAP) in 2024. The USOAP – CMA Audit is undertaken to measure the level of compliance of a State in respect to the implementation of ICAO’s safety-related Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and associated procedures and guidance material. It is worth noting that the last safety audit was done in 2014 and the State scored above the then global average of 60%. The most recent ICAO audit on Uganda was the USAP audit conducted in 2017 in which the State scored 81.8%, which was well above the then global average of 72%.

Some recent media reports have unfortunately mixed-up the safety audit by ICAO with Certification of Entebbe International Airport, which is different and is internally done by the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) on behalf of the state, not ICAO. The State, represented by UCAA is mandated to notify ICAO in case of non-compliance to specific standards through a Compliance Checklist (CC) /Electronic Filing of Differences (EFOD). This has not been done, given that Uganda fully complies with the standards, and has published a Regulatory Framework indicating compliance with the standards. The Certification of the airport is being done in line with the Regulatory Framework, as a planned activity, and we are on course to have the process concluded in time.

It is also important to note that the on-going certification of Entebbe International Airport has nothing to do with any airline flying in and out of Entebbe International Airport, and that is why there are currently 16 reputable international airlines flying to Uganda. I take this opportunity to urge you all to be patriotic and endeavor not to misrepresent technical issues that impact the image of the country.

Another inaccurate report referred to the runway and insinuated a poor record by simply citing two incidents; a Rwanda Airplane that skidded off the runway in April 2022 and an Ethiopian Airlines aircraft that overshot the runway in January 2019. To put the record straight, comprehensive investigation of both incidents was done, and recommendations provided to the concerned stakeholders for implementation of corrective action plans to prevent re-occurrence of such incidents.

Besides that, the runway being referred to is regularly inspected and has met the required safety standards. UCAA has a robust Runway Safety Programme, and Runway Safety team, which regularly monitors the condition of the runway to ensure safety of landings and take off.  In 2019, the airport safely facilitated 32,798 aircraft movements, 14,421 in 2020, 21,584 in 2021 and 28,985 aircraft movements in 2022. Of all these, only two incidents that did not register a single injury or fatality cannot tantamount to a poor safety record.

Uganda is also scheduled to host the NAM/G77+ China Summit in January 2024, and Entebbe International Airport is ready to facilitate the arrival and departure of delegates to the Summit.

I thank you for listening.

Entebbe’s key role in the Pearl of Africa’s revival

The aviation industry in Uganda has recorded tremendous progress over the past years. In line with the Uganda Vision 2040, the Government has developed a 20-year National Civil Aviation Master Plan with Entebbe International Airport and other airfields a key component. 

Fred Bamwesigye with Olive Lumonya

Aproject for the upgrade and expansion of its main gateway at Entebbe, Uganda’s former capital, is seen as critical to the development of the air transport industry as passenger and cargo demand continues to grow.

The “Pearl of Africa”, depicted by Winston Churchill during his visit to Uganda before its independence, is writing its modern “fairy tale” with a clear, pragmatic, and steady vision.

At the inception of Uganda Civil Aviation Authority’s (UCAA) in 1991, the airport handled 118,000 international passengers. In 2019, It handled 1.8 million passengers.

After disruptions due to the pandemic, the airport registered 1.57 million passengers in 2022. During the first quarter of 2023, Entebbe recorded 402,314 passengers compared to 414, 431 at the same period, prior to the pandemic.

“The revival and commencement of flights by the national airline, Uganda Airlines, is expected to further grow this traffic in subsequent years, and promote the country’s tourism potential”, said the airport’s director general Fred Bamwesigye. 

New operators like Airlink, which started flights to South Africa in September 2021, Air Arabia, with from Entebbe to Sharjah, UAE, in October 2021, and Air Kenya, among others, will boost traffic even more, Bamwesigye said. 

The overall project for upgrade and expansion of Entebbe International is at 85% level of completion and include the strengthening of the main runway 17/35 and the alternative runway 12/30, and associated taxiways, the rehabilitation of parking apron 4; reconstruction of parking apron 2 and expansion works of the main aircraft parking apron 1 are ongoing.

A new terminal building is under construction in an area previously used for cargo operations to increase Entebbe’s capacity from 2 to 3.5 million yearly by the end of this year.

The Terminal expansion
The Terminal expansion plan at Entebbe is well underway. Picture: UCAA

The existing terminal has also been re-modified to provide more space in the departure area. By the end of this month, drop-off facilities will be available at the entrance of the terminal building.

Cargo is also part of the ambitious development.  The sector has seen increasing needs to meet higher demand for fresh produce especially fish, flowers, fruits, and vegetables.  Uganda’s major markets are the Netherlands, Belgium, and the Middle East. Entebbe handled 61,000 metric tons in 2022 compared to 6,600 metric tons of cargo in 1991. 

A new state-of-the-art cargo centre with a capacity to handle 100,000 metric tons per year has been built to address bulging demand. Cargo operations have already shifted to the new facility.

A terminal operations control centre has been set up by Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) to ensure automation of operations as part of a $9.5 million grant by its government. The project has also delivered a computerised maintenance management system (CMMS), an airport operational database (AODB) system, an ATS message handling system (AMHS) as well as an improved flight procedures efficiency through air traffic management and training/capacity building.

“One of UCAA’s strategic objectives is to promote the development of an air navigation system aligned to the global air navigation plan (GANP). It provides airspace users with improved capacity and efficiency. The air traffic management system has undergone various system improvements and upgrades to enhance safety”, said Bamwesigye.  

UCAA and Entebbe International Airport obtained the ISO 9001:2015 quality management systems (QMS) certificate in 2021 following compliance with stringent UKAS requirements. Other aerodromes operated and managed by UCAA in Gulu, Arua, Soroti, Mbarara, Tororo, Kisoro, Pakuba, Kasese, Jinja and Kidepo have also been awarded certification for a three-year period up to 2024.

Adopted from: Times Aero Space July 21, 2023

5,363 passengers per day: Entebbe Airport records highest number of international passengers since 2019

In June 2023, Entebbe International Airport recorded 80,750 arriving and 80,165 departing passengers, a total of 160,915 international passengers, and an average of 5,363 passengers per day, the highest figure recorded since 2019.

In a similar period of June 2022,  135,261 international passengers (64,458 arrivals and 70,803 departures) were recorded. This reflects an increase of 25,654 additional passengers in June 2023. The high traffic recorded in June 2023 was partially contributed to by departing pilgrims to Mecca.

Arriving passengers are becoming more than departing passengers and this was reflected in the last two months’ statistics. In May 2023, we had 77,912 departures and 79,297 arrivals, a total of 157,209 passengers in the month, an average of 5,071 passengers per day.

The June 2023 passenger traffic also ranks as the fourth highest figure recorded in a month after the 179,323 recorded in December 2019, 166,980 recorded in July 2019 and 163,344 recorded in August 2019.

In 2022, the airport recorded a total of 1,571,950 million international passengers in comparison to 941,688 in 2021, 565,541 in 2020 and 1,802,107 in 2019.

In relation to cargo, June 2023 recorded 5,195 metric tons (1,661 tons of imports and 3,534 tons of exports). A total of 61,000 metric tons of cargo were recorded through Entebbe International Airport in 2022.

Adopted from: The Chimp Reports July 23, 2023

Routes World – October 15-17, 2023 Istanbul, Turkey

The global route development community will gather in Istanbul, Turkey, for the 28th Routes World event.

Routes World 2023 will bring airlines, airports, and aviation stakeholders from all over the world together to build air services and global economic growth. The event will provide a forum for top network planners to discuss the global future of the industry.

Istanbul, as a vital hub connecting East and West, presents an ideal setting for a world-class global event. Istanbul is ready to bring together the global route development community, with direct connectivity to over 300 countries across five continents.

For details: Visit the Routes website

Dubai Airshow 2023

Dubai Airshow 2023, which will take place on November 13-17, 2023 in DWC, will provide you with exclusive access to cutting-edge technology, groundbreaking innovations, game-changing insights, unparalleled networking opportunities with global influential leaders, and the opportunity to witness breathtaking aircraft displays in the sky.

This year’s edition will also include new and recurring attractions such as VISTA – the startup hub, 300+ all-star speakers, 13 industry tracks over 5 stages, and an expanded number of networking opportunities.

For details follow link: https://www.dubaiairshow.aero/


The Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) informs the public that there are a number of personal items that may have inadvertently been left behind at Entebbe International Airport by users of the facilities.

This serves as a final reminder to members to pick the listed items from Aviation Security at Entebbe International Airport (with evidence of ownership). In case there are any items, which are not picked up by July 30, 2023, UCAA will be left with no option, but to proceed with disposing off the items.

DOWNLOAD PDF OF NOTICE: https://caa.go.ug/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/CAA_Public-Notice_LOST-FOUND-ITEMS-1.pdf

Enterprise Risk Management Retreat Strengthens Risk Management Culture at Uganda Civil Aviation Authority

Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) recently organized a highly successful Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) retreat, aimed at integrating ERM practices into all aspects of the organization. The retreat focused on profiling the 14 most significant risks facing UCAA, with the ultimate goal of enhancing risk identification and management across all activities.

Under the leadership of Mr. Fred Bamwesigye, Director General of UCAA, the retreat served as a platform to emphasize the crucial role of risk identification and management in accomplishing UCAA’s mandate. During his remarks, Mr. Bamwesigye highlighted that effectively managing risks is a fundamental pillar for the successful execution of UCAA’s responsibilities.

At UCAA, risk management is an integral part of the day-to-day operations, monitoring, maintenance, and development processes. Risks are carefully considered in all key strategic decisions and third-party relationships. By proactively addressing risks, UCAA ensures that its operations remain robust, compliant, and aligned with industry best practices.

This ERM retreat showcased UCAA’s commitment to fostering a strong risk management culture within the organization. By profiling the 14 most significant risks, UCAA has taken a proactive approach to identify potential challenges and mitigate their impact on its operations. This systematic approach to risk management enables UCAA to make informed decisions and protect the interests of stakeholders, including passengers, employees, and the aviation industry as a whole.

UCAA extends its gratitude to all participants and stakeholders who contributed to the success of the ERM retreat. Their valuable insights and dedication to risk management have set a solid foundation for UCAA’s ongoing commitment to excellence and safety.

May registers increased passenger traffic at Entebbe International Airport

A total of 157,209 passengers passed through Entebbe International Airport in May 2023 (77,912 departures and 79,297 arrivals), an average of 5,071 per day.

The May traffic was higher than the April 2023 traffic by an average of 775 passengers per day.

It is also worth noting that arriving passengers were more than departing passengers in May 2023.

Returning pilgrims from Umrah partly contributed to the surge in traffic.

A number of pilgrims are scheduled to travel to Mecca through Entebbe International Airport from June 13-20, 2023.

Owing to the likely traffic build up, departing passengers are advised to plan for more time so as to avoid missing flights during that period.

UAE officials, MOW&T discuss areas of cooperation in relation to Entebbe International Airport

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Maktoum Bin Juma Al Maktoum, a prominent member of the Royal family of the United Arab Emirates, paid a visit to Entebbe International Airport on June 10, 2023. During his visit, he engaged in fruitful discussions with the Minister of Works and Transport, Hon. Gen. Katumba Wamala, focusing on areas of mutual cooperation.

The management of the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) actively participated in this engagement, which aimed to explore opportunities for collaboration. One of the key topics discussed was the potential expansion of cold storage facilities at the airport. By enhancing these facilities, the aim is to augment the value of perishable goods exports.

The visit by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Maktoum Bin Juma Al Maktoum, alongside the Minister of Works and Transport and UCAA management, underscores the importance of international partnerships and the shared commitment to fostering economic growth and development. This positive dialogue serves as a catalyst for further collaboration, paving the way for future advancements in the Ugandan aviation industry.