Entebbe Airport $200m expansion takes shape

Entebbe International Airport’s Chinese-funded expansion that includes an extension of the passenger terminal, construction of a new cargo centre, and refurbishment of the airport’s two runways is 17 percent completed and $25m spent so far.

With the airport welcoming nearly 3 million visitors last year, and its current infrastructure built to accommodate an average capacity of 500,000, the need for expansion is obvious and immediate.

Uganda’s airport operator Civil Aviation Authority’s Acting Managing Director, Dr. David Mpango during a tour of the ongoing works at the Airport Wednesday said so far CAA was in the right direction in implementing the 20-year National Civil Aviation Master Plan.

Mpango said, “Some the work is done while more activities are ongoing.”

“Travel between Uganda and the rest of the world is expected to increase swiftly within the coming years. To strengthen Entebbe Airport’s position as one of the top junctions between Africa and the world, we need to develop our services and operations even further.”

“We (Entebbe) are in the centre of Africa, so its even viable that we can attract airplanes that want to refuel,” he added. “We are working with our friends in tourism and hotel sector because 60% of the tourists come by air.”

CAA launched the expansion project in 2015 with a scheduled completion date of 2023 for the first phase and 2033 for the whole project being done by China Communication Construction Company, the firm currently building the Kampala–Entebbe Expressway.

The project will be executed in three phases in a period of 20 years, said Vianney Luggya, CAA’s communications boss, adding that that the new cargo area that is 300 by 400 meters in size will be able to enable heavier output in the cargo business of up to 100,000 metric tons of cargo every year and also host bigger cargo jets.

The first phase of the project involves the expansion of its main runway, construction of runway-end safety area at both ends, construction of two exit taxiways, one rapid exit taxiway and a take-off bay, helicopter apron, vehicle access control road to the airport and pavement of perimeter road, he explained.

Eng. John Tusuubira Kagolo, the Director Airports and Aviation Security in CAA, said, “Entebbe Airport’s biggest strengths are short layover times, friendly staff, short distances and world-class services. We will strive to hold on to these as we expand and prepare to welcome even more traffic that we can proudly say Entebbe is a regional hub just like Nairobi. The expansion will bring up more seven parking areas for the planes.”

According to officials from the CAA, cargo going through Entebbe airport is estimated to be growing at a rate of 6.5% per year and this will go on for the next 17 years.
Published in The Ugandan Magazine

CAA Hosts Regional Meeting on Creation of Satellite Based Augmentation System

Civil Aviation of Uganda has today Tuesday kicked off a four-day Validation workshop for the creation of the East African Satellite-Based Augmentation System(SBAS) aimed at conducting a feasibility study of the preliminary study proposals and benefits analysis that will help in the decision making process for the creation of the Eastern Africa SBAS module.

The meeting which kicked off today morning at Sheraton Hotel in Kampala is being attended by representatives from the Civil Aviation authorities from E.A including Somalia and Sudan, officials from inter-government authority on development (IGAD), officials from E.A.C and COMESA, representatives from the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) and many others.

In his opening remarks, CAA Director for Air Navigation Service Richard Ruhesi noted that Uganda was honored to host such an important meeting that will bring crucial changes in the aviation sector in Uganda as it moves away from using conventional means that are ground based to satellite based implementation system that ensures accuracy, safety, efficiency in space.

Ruhesi noted that once fully implemented, the SBAS module will not only help aviation sector alone but also other sectors like road, railway and water transport.

“Although this project is focusing on enhancing Aviation, there are other beneficiaries of satellite signal and its Augmentation including other transport modes like road, railway and maritime, as we shall learn later on through the workshop. I therefore wish to implore all delegates here to actively participate in this workshop so that we can maximise benefits,” Ruhesi said.

While officially opening the meeting, the state minister in charge of Transport, Aggrey Bagiire who represented the Minister for Works and Transport said that the Ugandan government is highly supportive of any initiative that embraces the use of technology in enhancing delivery.

“My ministry will closely follow the technical deliberation that is to take place in the next four days and we will immediately implement any possible resolutions from this meeting,” Bagiire said.

The Minister further commended the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay service (EGNOS), African joint program office and its other development partners from EAC, IGAD and COMESA for considering Uganda as a worthy host for such an important gathering.

by Chimp Reports


How E-Passport Will Ease Travel For Ugandans

By Jacob Siminyu

The Ministry of Internal Affairs has recently received a number of questions through our websites and enquiring about the e-passport. I am privileged to provide some key information to the public as Uganda progresses with procurement of the e-passport.
Our current passport called the Machine-Readable Passport (MRP), holds only traditional text information, a photo and the ghost image. It does not have biometric features that can identify the passport with the genuine owner, which the e-passport has.

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in its document 9303, released the recommended specification of Electronic Machine-Readable Travel documents (e-MRTDs) or e-travel documents.
They recommended that in addition to the usual machine-readable capabilities, the travel documents must have special biometric features, which specifically identify the passport with its holder and as such, enhance the security of travel.

There are different types of biometric security features that vary from finger prints, facial scan, iris scan, retinal scan, body odour recognition and voice recognition. Uganda’s national database has fingerprints, which will be used for secure recognition.
Worldwide, acceptance of e-passports is based on its capacity to provide a secure identification of the passport holder. It also limits chances of forgery of biometric information stored in the passport by fraudsters. It enhances the privacy of the holder, it limits the chance for identity theft and tremendously eases handling of entry and exit at border airports and points of entry.

With the e-passport personalised, citizens leaving or entering the country can freely do so without necessarily interacting with immigration officers using e-gates. The government of Uganda will soon be installing automated e-gates at Entebbe airport.
The e-passport will tremendously enhance the integrity of the Ugandan passport worldwide, across embassies and airlines. Airline check-in as well as immigration border/airport controls will be less intensive, and when we install e-gates as has been planned for in Entebbe, personalised Ugandans returning home will go through the exciting feeling of entering their country on their own.

However, anyone who attempts to enter using a forged passport or one who attempts to use a passport which is not his/hers (impostors), will certainly be stopped by the automated e-gates. Integration between immigration and the National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA), will facilitate Ugandans to apply for their passports online.
The e-passport is designed with a special chip, which holds information that is printed on the data page of the passport such as the holder’s name, date of birth, etc, in addition to other secure biographic information such as fingerprints.
If you travelled through Dubai International Airport and Kotoka International Airport (recently), you could have experienced they use iris scan as the secure biometric feature.

The e-passport is designed to enhance secure travel for the traveller, the airline and immigration and border security agencies because it is extremely difficult to change data, which is held on the e-passport, making it almost impossible for forgery to take place.
Many people who accessed personalised passports and could easily impose a forged biometric film on the biodata page or just use the passport with the hope that immigration authorities outside Africa are not able to identify Africans, will now be completely locked out as the new passport will now be linked to the holder using biometric security features and the National Identification Number (NIN).

The heads of State of the EAC took a decision for all member states to shift from our Machine-Readable Passports (MRP) to one EAC e-passport for all the member countries. The EAC Council of Ministers at its 35th sitting directed member States to commence issuance of the new EAC e-passport by January 31, 2018 based on status of preparedness by different member states. Uganda is the only EAC nation that is yet to commence issuance of the EAC e-passport.
While Uganda seems to be behind the EAC schedule, the government is working tirelessly on a comprehensive deal by bringing on board a vendor through the joint venture, who will provide printing of all the security documents such as e-passports, banknotes, bank cheques, national IDs in Uganda, including e-passports.

The procurement will be done under a Joint Venture between a German firm Veridos Identity Solutions GmbH and Uganda Printing & Publishing Corporation. The Government of Uganda will inform Ugandans of the cost, the timelines for use of the old passport (based on ICOA Standards) and the process of the new passport as soon as it gets ready to issue the EAC e-passport.

Mr Siminyu is the spokesperson of ministry of Internal Affairs.

Published in the Daily Monitor, Wednesday 25 April 2018

CAA to celebrate Aviation Week with senior golfers

CAA to celebrate Aviation Week with senior golfers



The motive behind the inaugural edition of the Seniors Golf Open last year was to provide awareness to the society that one can play golf even beyond the age of 50 years.
And certainly, the elders of the game could have achieved as they have often had more categories to play at different club events this year. The second edition of the Seniors Open is set to re-affirm the fundamental plan as 150 players take part in the two-day event at the par-72 course in Kitante tomorrow.
“We want to grow the game further,” Uganda Seniors Golfing Society (USGS) chairman Jackson Karyaruboowe said at the press conference.
“It will improve all of us,” Karyaruboowe’s vice-chairman Mark Ntege said of the tournament yet again sponsored by Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to a tune of Shs20m.
“This event is tactically coinciding with the celebration of the International Civil Aviation Week that runs from December 1-7 across the world,” CAA Public and Corporate affairs manager Vianney Luggya said
“We noticed senior golfers regularly use our facilities at Entebbe Airport. So we are doing this as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility that encourages support in areas of health, sport and education.” Luggya added.
The stroke-play event will have majority of the players of 55 years and above, take part in two rounds with side bets included like nearest to the pin and longest drive.
Last year, Onyango Matata beat a field of 90 players with a score of 160 gross, beating Steven Katwiremu by six strokes. Also to note, Solo Kego made a hole-in-one on par-3 No.6 using an 8-Iron Ping ball (Pro No.1 Titleist) as witnessed by James Sekajugo and Steven Kasaija.

Adopted from: The Daily Monitor ( Friday 1st December, 2017)


Katwiremu, Nasimolo top CAA golf tournament

The tournament was one of the activities organised by CAA to celebrate the International Civil Aviation week

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Stephen Katwiremu (second left) with Onyango Matata (left), John Byabagambi (second right) and Zephania Dube (right) after he won the Seniors Golf Open at Kitante on December 3. Photos by Michael Nsubuga

Stephen Katwiremu carded 169 gross over 36 holes to win the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Seniors Open Golf tournament at Kitante on Sunday.

The handicap 8, Kigali and Uganda Golf Club member beat his closest challengers, Sam Zaramba and Zephania Dube by two and three strokes respectively to claim the elusive title for the first time.

“I have been waiting for this cup for the last two years and last year I had one hand on it, but it is this year that I managed to put both hands on it,” Katwiremu who finished second last year behind Godfrey Onyango said.

“It was not easy, but I prepared very well and knew my opponents style of play, and I knew what to do on this course so I feel good to have eventually won it. I chipped and putted very well over the two days and go a couple of pars,” Katwiremu stated. “Dube gave me a hard time but he succumbed on the back nine,”

 Jenina Nasimolo receives her prize from former minister John Nasasira

Jenina Nasimolo beat Monica Azuba Ntege on count-back to also claim the ladies top prize, both having carded 173 gross. Ntege, who is also works minister and was chief guest at the prize ceremony, claimed the ladies longest drive prize.

George Egadu, Giel Pretorious, and Suresh Patel emerged top in the 71 plus, 65-70 and 55-64 years categories while Edrae Kagombe, Ruth Ssali and Connie Mukuru were the top performers in the ladies’ net category.

CAA managing director David Kakuba who led a number of staff at the prize ceremony committed to sponsoring the annual event ‘resources allowing’.

The tournament was one of the activities organised by CAA to celebrate the International Civil Aviation week.


Overall winner:

Stephen Katwiremu 169 gross

2 – Zephania Dube 171

3 – Sam Zaramba 172

First 18 holes winner

Godfrey Matata 87

Second 18 holes winner

John Waigo 85

Adopted from: The NewVision (Monday, 4th December, 2017)


Aviation industry set for Boom

Every year, on January 26 the country commemorates Liberation Day when the NRM came to power. Vianney M. Luggya the manager public affairs at Civil Aviation Authority in an interview with Jacky Achan takes stock of what the aviation industry has achieved over the last 32 years.

QUESTION: Entebbe is the only international airport in Uganda. Would you say that there is enough aviation business in Uganda?

More than 90% of air traffic for any country is determined by the size of the economy (measured by Gross Domestic Product) for that country. As Uganda’s economy continues to grow, the country’s air  traffic grows and more air operators are subsequently attracted to benefit from the  passenger and cargo traffic. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected  Uganda’s GDP to grow by 5.2% and 7.3% in 2018 and 2022, respectively. It is anticipated that the country’s  air traffic will follow the same positive trend. There is also a lot of potential in the  horticultural industry. Most of Uganda’s exports to Europe and other foreign markets  comprise of fresh produce, including flowers, fish and the like

QUESTION: We have heard reports that some carriers have abandoned Entebbe. How do you plan on changing such a trend?

At the time of CAA’s establishment in 1991, there were 118,000 international passengers through Entebbe compared to over 1.5 million in 2016. Three new airlines have joined the Ugandan airspace in the last three years and discussions are on-going with the Lufthansa Group and Saudia Cargo, among others, to commence operations in and out of Uganda in the near future.

Uganda recently concluded new bi-lateral air service agreements with Saudi Arabia, Israel, Switzerland and Canada. Some of Canada’s airlines are already having code-share agreements with international operators to Uganda. In addition, a number of existing air operators, such as Emirates, Qatar and Rwanda Air, among others have recently changed aircrafts to Entebbe from smaller to bigger ones. Emirates changed from using an Airbus 330, which had a load capacity of 220 passengers to a Boeing 777 aircraft with a load capacity of 360 passengers. Similarly, Qatar Airways upgraded from using an Airbus 320 that carried 144 passengers to an Airbus 330-200 with a load capacity of up to 260 passengers. While British Airways suspended operations in 2015, several other international airlines have since expanded their operations in Uganda.

For instance, Ethiopian Airlines increased flights between Entebbe and Addis Ababa from two flights a day to three flights per day and added another route to Juba, to make a total of 28 frequencies per week. Brussels Airlines recently increased its flights from five to seven flights per week, effective 1 December, 2017. In the same year, Kenya Airways started operating six frequencies a day on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday of every week while maintaining five frequencies per day on Wednesdays and Sundays, making a total of 40 frequencies per week. Similarly, Turkish Airlines has on top of their current daily passenger flights added a second cargo flight per week. Another international air operator is considering doubling their daily flights in and out of Entebbe.

All these developments, including increase in frequencies by air operators and change of aircraft from smaller to bigger types, show that Uganda’s air transport industry is growing steadily and so is the competition. Passenger traffic in and out of Entebbe International Airport has greatly increased.

Uganda operates a liberalised air transport system and a number of incentives are extended to air operators, including multiple designation (designating more than one airline on a route) and removal of frequency and capacity limitations so that the designated airlines can operate as many times as they wish with any type of aircraft. In addition, any airline that operates scheduled services into Entebbe Airport at a  frequency equal or greater than seven flights a week receives 50% discount on landing fees and air navigation charges for one flight. There are also specific incentives for local airlines. Business at the airport is becoming more vibrant and the pulling out of some players part of the dynamics of the industry.

QUESTION: How about domestic Flights?

There are many scheduled domestic operators like Eagle Air, Aerolink and Kampala Aeroclub and Flight Training Centre (KAFTC).
There are also several other non-scheduled operators, including Asante Aviation, Air Serv, Mission Aviation Fellowship, Vine Air Ltd, Samaritan’s Purse, Kampala Executive Aviation, DHL Aviation, Uganda Air Cargo and Premier Safaris, among others.

What has been the role of local players in the growth of the aviation industry?

They play an equally important role as do the international players. Domestic travel from one airfield to another complements and supports tourism promotion yet tourism contributes to the biggest percentage of air travellers.
Local investment in air transport also boosts the national economy and creates jobs

What are some of your plans for the aviation industry?

A 20 year national civil aviation master plan covering the period 2014-2033 is in place. Projects to be implemented under the first five years of the master plan are already on-going. They include; landside expansion of the passenger terminal. The existing passenger terminal building was opened in 1974 for peak hour traffic of 250 arriving and departing passengers.
The terminal got some limited improvements as the country prepared for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2007, elevating it to the current capacity of 410 arriving and 360 departing passengers. The master plan projects 930 arriving passengers and 820 departing passengers during peak hours, by 2033. The expansion is critical in providing for growth and ensuring a good customer experience. The landside expansion project
seeks to provide more room and comfort for service users, especially passengers. The project will have new arrivals and departure blocks.
The sh42.6b project, is expected to be delivered by the end of this year.

Cargo centre:

Works for the new cargo centre commenced in May 2016 and the new 100,000 tone capacity cargo centre is expected to be completed in October Projections put the tonnage at 172,000 by 2033. The new cargo centre will have room for further expansion of the facilities to increase the capacity from 100,000 tones upwards. The new cargo centre will be a self-contained facility with a parking apron, landslide and airside access roads, cooling facilities, a freight forwarders parlor and ancillary business outlets. It is part of the $200m loan to Uganda by China through the Exim Bank of China. Part of the loan will be used to re-surface the runways, taxiways and strengthen and expand the aprons under the same contractor.

New Passenger terminal:

On completion of the new cargo centre, cargo operations will be relocated from the current site to the new facility.
A new passenger terminal will then be erected in the place currently used for cargo operations to be completed in 2021.

KOICA Projects:

The Government of South Korea extended a grant worth US $9.5m for improvement of air navigation services, at Entebbe airport. The projects to be implemented in a period of three years involve;

  • Implementation of Air Traffic Services (ATS) Message Handling System
  • A computerised Maintenance Management System
  • Airport Operational Database

We also advised Government on the need to revive the national airline and the matter has been taken to another level, with, appointment of a task force to work out the modalities. Once it is in place, the national airline is expected to boost air traffic in and out of Entebbe


Rehabilitation of Upcountry Aerodromes


The interior of the new terminal building at Arua Airfield is undergoing partitioned and furnishing. Earlier on, more land had been acquired for expansion of the airfield at a cost of about 6.5 billion to enhance its significance in regional trade.

The consultant Gauff and GIBB produced the final Master Plan and Detailed Engineering Designs for Arua Airport.

A new Fire Truck was also procured at a cost of 480,000 Euro and deployed at the airfield in 2016.


Acquisition of additional land for Kasese Airport development was completed and a perimeter fence constructed at the aerodrome.


Land acquisition and compensation for Tororo Aerodrome was also carried out and of the 185 affected persons, 95 have been paid at a cost of 4.4 billion. Installation of power at the aerodrome was also completed


Remedial repairs of runway 05/23 at Soroti Airfield were completed at a cost of 2.2 billion.

A new Fire Truck (480,000 Euro) and a portable mobile runway lighting system for Soroti were acquired.


Construction of a power perimeter fence at Kidepo aerodrome was completed and new Staff houses erected.


A power perimeter fence was recently erected at Pakuba to protect the aerodrome from wildlife intrusion. The gravel runway surface was also rehabilitated. It is a strategically located airfield in the Albertine Grabben region and facilitates one of Uganda’s most endowed national parks, Murchison Falls.


Jinja Airfield’s perimeter fence was completed and the gravel runway surface rehabilitated.


Construction of a perimeter fence was completed and the gravel runway rehabilitated.


ISO 9001 Certification for CAA, EIA and Aerodromes

CAA and Entebbe International Airport were awarded with the prestigious ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management Systems (QMS) Certificate on 31 December, 2016 following compliance with stringent requirements for the internationally recognized certification by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).

The ISO 9001:2008 Certification relates to the provision of aeronautical services within the Flight Information Region of Uganda to include regulation, licensing, air navigation services, search and rescue, certification of air operators, operation and maintenance of aerodromes, security and corporate services.

Other aerodromes operated and managed by CAA in Gulu, Arua, Soroti, Mbarara, Tororo, Kisoro, Pakuba, Kasese, Jinja and Kideop were also awarded ISO 9001:2008 QMS Certification.

The award made CAA Uganda the third aviation authority in Africa to get QMS certification after Ghana and Tanzania CAA. CAA also became the second Government agency to be ISO 9001:2008 QMS certified.

QMS certification implies that the holder has systems and processes in place that meet the needs of customers and other stakeholders while also meeting statutory and regulatory requirements.

The other certification benefits are cutting costs through improved systems and processes, increasing customer loyalty and ensuring proper documentation of processes, continual improvement and factual approach to decision making and management commitment


Aviation Police

Decent accommodation was extended to AVPOL through construction of 42 new state-of-the-art Aviation Police units from internally generated revenue in Kigungu. The purpose was to relocate AVPOL from the site for the new Cargo Centre to pave way for airport expansion and upgrade works to progress. The AVPOL families have already been relocated to the new facility.