vianney lugya

There’s no loss of taxpayers’ money in Entebbe Airport expansion works

What you need to know:

There was only an internal inquiry within Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) as one head of department sought clarity, which was satisfactorily given in writing. It is unfortunate that the source of information shared only the inquiry and left out the detailed clarification.

Reference is made to a misleading online and Sunday Monitor article titled “taxpayers lose Shs. 12.8 billion in failed Entebbe Airport works”, which was published on February 19, 2023. For starters, there isn’t any loss or failed project as may have been insinuated

There was only an internal inquiry within Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) as one head of department sought clarity, which was satisfactorily given in writing. It is unfortunate that the source of information shared only the inquiry and left out the detailed clarification.

It is not true that ML Tristar, the company undertaking works for the fuel hydrant system, was engaged at an extra cost as they are doing the work at no cost to UCAA yet the agreement provides for income to UCAA as soon as the system becomes operational. Neither did China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) fail to do the work. Instead, it was deemed prudent to effect some changes for the better after careful consideration and widespread stakeholder engagements.

The scoping for the design of the facilities for the upgrade of Entebbe International Airport was done in 2014, way before Tristar came on board. In relation to the scope of works for the fuel hydrant system, CCCC was to construct a hydrant of 700 square meters starting from the existing Apron 1 line to connect to the expanded Apron 1 area of six parking bays. This was a single line with a dead end. It is worth noting that single lines complicate maintenance works. For instance, it is not possible to refuel aircraft while maintenance of the system is being done at the same time. In order to fully optimize, in February 2017, UCAA signed a sub-lease agreement with ML Tristar covering a comprehensive scope of work, including construction of a modern fuel farm (with 20 million liter fuel storage tanks), a double line hydrant system connecting through the new Cargo Apron, Apron 1 extension and through the existing Apron 1.

The state-of-the-art system is fully automated and equipped with smart features enabling the monitoring of fuel supply at the screen of a computer monitor, which enhances safety. Supply of fuel can also be stopped by simply pressing a computer button. The location of the new fuel farm is also suitably far from operational areas of the airport as opposed to the old fuel farm with capacity of 7.5 million liters, located adjacent the main operational areas. The new location ably takes care of safety and security risks associated with the dangers of having hazardous material like fuel next to operational areas.

A thorough analysis of the hydrant system was carried out in June 2017 with consultative meetings held between Tristar, Hansard (the design consultant for Tristar), CCCC, Dar Al Handasah (the supervising consultants for UCAA) and UCAA’s technical team. Presentations of the designs and scope of works for the fuel hydrant system in relation to CCCC and Tristar scope were made, and it was established that Tristar’s was more comprehensive, providing fuel hydrant pits at the Cargo Apron, Apron 1 extension and the existing main apron. Tristar undertaking the works came with various advantages to UCAA and the airport, the major one being that modern facilities were to be provided without spending on the investment yet revenue was guaranteed from the first day of commencement of operations.

It is, therefore, not true, as alleged in the previous article that funds that were part of the project for upgrade and expansion of Entebbe International Airport were allocated to Tristar.

Instead, the saved funds were utilized to take care of other changes that were not of the contractor’s making, but arose from new demands from the industry (established through stakeholder engagements) following changes in technology, customer preferences, emerging global threats and growing traffic volumes, among others. The changes mainly addressed new challenges of global aviation security and two critical factors, namely; Freight Integrators and Transit Cargo. The requirements further necessitated a change in design layout to provide more space for screening and to ensure departing cargo is stored in compartments or caged under lock and key. All these were required to be implemented before opening the new cargo center for operations yet they were not part of the previous scope to be undertaken by CCCC. There is no way that any contractor can implement such a magnitude of changes outside their scope of works at their cost.

Vianney Mpungu Luggya is the Manager Public Affairs at Uganda Civil Aviation Authority.


Public Notice on Filming and Taking Photos at Entebbe International Airport

This is to clarify that the reminder message restricting photography and filming relates ONLY to operational restricted/sensitive areas within the terminal building (such as security screening areas and equipment, among other sensitive areas). This is not a new measure. Filming has always been restricted, and only takes place with prior permission.

Even journalists who access the terminal building for official coverage of activities first go through a formal clearance process before they can be allowed to take photos and videos of specific areas/activities.

Recently, some people had unfortunately adopted a practice of filming the security screening process and equipment. We are committed to implementing measures for a better passenger experience, but airport security and safety of all travelers will not be compromised.

However, selfies and other memorable video moments may be undertaken in the departure concourse (pre-boarding and duty free area) after the last security check or at the land-side before accessing the security restricted area.

Basic Travel Requirements for Departing Passengers Travelling Through Entebbe Airport

         A valid passport

         A valid visa for countries where this is required

         An airline ticket (hard copy or e-ticket)

         Valid Yellow fever vaccination card (in case the destination country requires it)

NB: Otherwise, passengers must seek for additional information from their respective airlines regarding destination travel requirements (as some of these keep changing from time to time or may be beyond what is stated above).


         First Security Checkpoint at the gate/entrance of Entebbe International Airport: The driver and occupants of the vehicle are required to undergo security screening and the motor vehicle is physically inspected.

         Car park access: The cars are to be parked in the public car park and the passenger accesses the departure level to start on the travel process.

         Second Security point on departure level:  Travelling passengers are separated from non travellers. The passenger should show their passport and ticket so as to proceed to the restricted area.

         Hold Baggage Check point: Passengers’ bags are screened through the screening machine by Aviation Security staff.

         Documents Verification: At this point, a passenger is required to show their passport as their legal identity and the ticket showing their destination of travel to the Airline staff or their representatives, the Ground Handling Staff who after verification will stamp either the visa (if paper visa) or the ticket for the next step of check-in. A valid yellow fever vaccination card should be presented (in case the destination country requires it). Any non- compliances will be communicated to the passenger and if they cannot be fulfilled, the passenger may be denied travel.

         Check in Counters and Baggage drop: After meeting the destination requirements, the passenger presents the passport, ticket, or visa with stamp for check in. Baggage weight is measured in accordance with the required weight as indicated on the passenger ticket. In case of any excess baggage, ticket changes or upgrades, the passenger is advised on the cost and is referred to the relevant airline for payment.  Physical or electronic receipts will be issued for such payments. The passenger is then issued with a boarding pass and baggage claim tags.

NB: Please note that there are two types of check- in for passengers i.e:

•          Online checked -in passengers who do not need to go through the check-in counters, if they do not have baggage to check- in.

•          Non-online checked in passengers who have to follow all the processes of check-in.

         Immigration desk: Responsible for boarder management and detection of human and child trafficking. Passenger will be required to present passport for exit visa/ stamp, boarding passes and hotel booking.  Immigration officers permit the passenger to proceed for travel if they meet the destination requirements and have complied with Uganda’s rules and regulations. In case the departing passenger had visited Uganda, they shouldn’t have exceeded their issued visa period.

If there are any pertinent reasons (non compliance with any of the requirements), the passenger may be denied exit by immigration, and in that case the airline or Ground handling agent is informed.

         Last Security check: The passenger will be required to go through this security point  before entering the boarding gate and any prohibited item will be withdrawn from the passenger. The items may be handed over to the passenger’s family, if they are still available at the Airport or may be disposed- off by security through a court order.

         Boarding gate: The passenger will be required to go to the boarding gates, 20 minutes before the flight’s departure. At the entrance of the boarding gate, the passenger will undergo a last check by the Airline prior to boarding to confirm that nothing has changed throughout the process. The passenger will then board the aircraft.

The responsibility of ensuring all travel requirements for origin, transit and destination lies with the passenger as per contract of carriage with the airline – which is the ticket.

NB: At point of ticket purchase, passengers are advised to always seek information from their airline(s) regarding any changes in travel requirements, if in doubt. This should also be the case at any given point during their journey (airline staff are always available).

In case of need for assistance, please contact the Manager Operations on 0758483681, General Manager on 0702055158 or any of the feedback channels indicated below.


Notice of Application for Air Services Licenses

Notice is hereby, given that the following firms have applied for the grant / renewal of an Air Services Licence.

1.Aerolink Uganda Limited P.O. Box 689 Entebbe  Non-Scheduled and Scheduled Passenger Domestic and International (RENEWAL)  C208
2.AIR SERV Limited P.O. Box 7548 Kampala  Scheduled Passenger Domestic and International (RENEWAL)   Non-Scheduled Cargo Domestic and International (NEW)C208  
3.Asante Aviation Limited P.O. Box 7691 KampalaNon Scheduled Domestic and International (RENEWAL)  C208    
4.BAR Aviation Limited P.O. Box 27210 KampalaNon Scheduled Cargo Domestic and International (NEW)B1900D, C208B, PC-12, B206, B412, L382 CL064
5.KAFTC dba BAR Aviation Gate 3, Kajjansi Airfield P.O. Box 27210 Kampala    Scheduled passenger and Cargo Domestic   Aerial Work (RENEWAL)    B1900D, PC-12, C208B   C172, B505, BELL 206, L382                       
6.SUN GURU Limited P.O. Box 25669 Kampala  Private (NEW)      C172
7.  Uganda Aviation Academy P.O. Box 10101 KampalaTraining  (RENEWAL)    TBN
8.  Vine Air Limited P.O. Box 22041 Kampala    Flight Training   Non-Scheduled Passenger and Cargo Domestic and International (RENEWAL)C152, C172, PA28  

Any person who has grounds to object to the grant / renewal of the Air Services Licence to any of the applicants listed herein, may as soon as possible, lodge such objection in writing with:

        The Director Safety, Security & Economic Regulation

        Uganda Civil Aviation Authority Headquarters

        Entebbe Airport Road

        P. O. Box 5536


        Tel:      +256 414 352 000


A copy of the objection should be forwarded to the applicant concerned.

The applicants will defend their applications before the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority Licensing Committee on 10 March 2023 at 10:00 a.m. at Kampala Serena Hotel.

Interested members of the public are invited to attend this half day event.

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Public Notice on Trending Videos about
Entebbe International Airport

We have noted various trending social media videos highlighting cases of alleged extortion of money from passengers through Entebbe International Airport. Uganda Civil Aviation Authority does not in any way condone such acts and where such incidents have happened, it is highly regrettable and unacceptable.

It is important for the public to know that while UCAA facilitates operations at Entebbe International Airport, this is done in liaison with several independent providers of key services, including, but not limited to Immigration, handling agents (NAS and DAS), airlines, Ministry of Health through port health, Security agencies, URA customs, and Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (Labour externalization agents), among others.

Nevertheless, we would like to assure the public that previously reported cases with specific details have been thoroughly investigated and where staff of various agencies operating at the airport were found culpable, serious disciplinary action was taken, including termination of contracts and withdrawal of airport access passes from them, among others. We would like to reiterate our commitment to continue engaging all the airport service providers to take tough action on anyone found culpable of this vice, and also ensure that complaints are duly addressed to the satistafction of the airport users.

Unfortunately, none of the regurgitated trending videos specifically states a particular check point, time, day and flight details of when the alleged extortion may have taken place. This would help the investigations. We are contacting the parties in the tik-tok videos to share with us information that can guide us to take quick action. In the past, we have investigated similar generalised claims made on Tik-tok, but unfortunately no specific information was established to corroborate the claims.

The airport has cameras placed in strategic places for security reasons and to enable UCAA address such issues when they occur.

The Authority urges the travelling public not to be compelled or lured into paying money to any staff they interface with (from whichever agency) in the course of travel through Entebbe International Airport. Please immediately report any case(s) of extortion in exchange for favors, including cases where the passenger has already left the airport. Please contact the following senior officials for immediate assistance.

General Manager, Entebbe International Airport – 0702-055158
Manager Aviation Security – 0701488366
Manager Operations – 0758483681
Chief Liaison Officer Airports – 0701477049
Email :
Whatsapp: +256 757 269670
Twitter: @UgandaCAA

The public is also reminded that any inappropriate financial dealings with any person within the airport (such as exchange of money for favours) is illegal and criminal. Whoever may be found promoting it (passenger or employee ) is liable to be charged for abetting commission of a crime.

We shall continue to take action, but we need the public to cooperate with us by sharing specific timely information for action.


Measures in Place to Mitigate Complaints in Relation to Smooth Facilitation of Passengers Through Entebbe International Airport

Uganda Civil Aviation Authority received valuable feedback from key stakeholders, the users of the facilities at Entebbe International Airport. The Authority intially issued a statement that first acknowledged the feedback on January 19, 2023 without going into specific details of actions taken, but clarifying the mandate of the various agencies operating at Entebbe International Airport.

The public has since shared more leading information through the feedback channels provided and others continued online.

A press conference was jointly addressed by UCAA and the head of the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control at Entebbe International Airport on January 20, 2023, which among others highlighted the following mitigation measures that have been put in place as follows;

  1. In 2021, the Authority issued a directive to all airport stakeholders urging them to inform thier staff who interface with passengers in operational areas that use of private mobile phones is prohibited while on duty  within the terminal building. It is only the supervisors that were expempted. While there may have been laxity in implementation of this directive, it is now being re-emphasised and is to be fully enforced.
  2. UCAA held engagement meetings with security agencies and others to harmonise operations of the different stakeholers on departure with a view of ensuring that some functions are merged and handled more efficiently by fewer agencies to avoid duplication and multiple checks and desks before a passenger accesses the check-in counters.
  3. It has been resolved that after a passager has gone past Immigration on departure, recalling them or offloading them for any reason would only take place with the express permission of the Director Airports and Aviation security or General Manager- EIA of UCAA.
  4. The Authority is intensifying the playing of messages on Flight Information Display screens at the airport alerting/reminding passengers not to be compelled to pay any money to anyone in exchage for a favour at the airport.
  5. We would like to re-assure the public that all cases/complaints submitted to UCAA with evidence will be thoroughly investigated and action taken. A number of those, which were submitted earlier were worked on and action taken, with staff found culpable disciplined. From 2020 to date, 26 members of staff from various agencies have either been suspended, terminated or subjected to other disciplinary measures.
  6. A UCAA staff who appeared in one of the videos and appeared to be negotiating some payment was detained at Aviation Police on the morning of January 20, 2022 and is to face disciplinary action as investigations continue.
  7. Name tags for all staff operating at the airport are to be emphasised.
  8. Customer service training for members of staff of all stakeholders operating at Entebbe International Airport is to be emphasised.

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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.


  • 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.


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