Directorate of Air Navigation Services

The Directorate is responsible for providing services, infrastructure and systems that ensure a safe, orderly and expeditious flow of aircraft within the Uganda airspace.

This Directorate delivers a range of air navigation services under four departments and one unit:

  • Air Traffic Management
  • Aeronautical Information Management
  • Communication, Navigation, Surveillance
  • Safety Management Systems
  • Research and Development Unit

Associated with the Directorate is the National Meteorological Centre that provides weather information for use by pilots during pre-flight briefing and in flight

The department is responsible for the management and operation of Air Traffic Services and Search and Rescue within the Entebbe Flight Information Region (FIR). The services include:

  • Area Control – for over flights, arriving and departing aircrafts; this service enables aircraft to navigate safely through the Uganda Airspace;
  • Approach Procedural Control – for all flights associated with arrival and departure at Entebbe and Soroti airports;
  • Approach Radar Control – for all flights associated with arrival and departure at Entebbe International airport; radar monitoring of flights is also done by this service
  • Aerodrome Control – in Entebbe, Soroti and Gulu airports. This service allows aircraft to come and leave the aerodromes. In Entebbe International Airport, it is backed by the instrument landing systems that enable aircraft to land and take off safely;
  • Flight Information Service – to provide advice and information useful for the safe and efficient conduct of flights;
  • Alerting Service – to notify organisations regarding aircraft in need of search and rescue aid, and assist such organisations as required;
  • Search and Rescue- this involves the coordination and direction of search and rescue services with all partner agencies for aircraft in distress.

With increased traffic and demand for improved safety, national plans exist to assist in GNSS-centred PBN implementation to enable a seamless, harmonised and cost-effective navigational service from departure to final approach that will provide benefits in safety, efficiency and capacity

Refer to the Uganda AIP GEN 3.3 and GEN 3.6 for more detail on Air Traffic Services and Search and Rescue

This department is responsible for ensuring the timely flow of quality Aeronautical Information necessary for the Safety, Regularity and Efficiency of National/International Air Navigation. AIS collects, collates, assembles, edits, formats, originates, publishes and distributes Aeronautical Information/ Data concerning the entire Entebbe Flight Information Region (FIR).

The service is offered through five core units:-

The International NOTAM Office (NOF)

Responsible for the promulgation of NOTAM and facilitates the international exchange of NOTAM;

Cartography Unit

Responsible for developing and maintaining aeronautical maps and charts, conducting data verification surveys for airports, navigation facilities and en-route obstacles, and planning the establishment and maintenance of the electronic terrain and obstacle data base. It also deals with the construction and maintenance of en-route and terminal flight procedures

AIS Aerodrome Unit

Responsible for facilitating flight plan management and pre-flight briefing services including self-briefing at Entebbe International Airport;

Communication Operations

Responsible for monitoring and controlling communication facilities performance; It also maintains communication records and statistics

AIS Headquarters

Responsible for collection, collation, compilation, processing and dissemination of aeronautical data through regular updates to the Uganda AIP and issuance of AIP Supplements, Aeronautical Information Circulars and list of valid NOTAM; The unit also updates subscription to AIS publications received from AIP holders, and responds to issues raised in the AIS Customer Satisfaction Feedback Form, Post flight Information Form and Aeronautical Information Promulgation Form

Refer to the Uganda AIP GEN 3.1 , GEN 3.2 and GEN 3.4 for more detail on Aeronautical Information Services, and to the Aeronautical Information Services link under Resources for AIS Products

The Department is responsible for planning, development, implementation and maintenance of air navigation facilities in line with the Global Air Navigation Plan for CNS/ATM systems.
The department plans, installs, and maintains all Communication, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) systems in accordance with the Civil Aviation Authority’s Air Navigation Services Regulations

CNS systems include Radios (VHF, UHF and HF), Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) System, Instrument Landing Systems, Radio Navigation Aids and the Secondary Surveillance Radar.
Refer to the Uganda AIP GEN 3.4 and ENR 1.6 for more detail on Communication Services

The department ensures safety of everyday Air Navigation Service operations.
The Air Navigation Services SMS policy statement defines the commitment of Senior Management to promoting safety in the Directorate’s daily operations
The department aligns its safety objectives with Uganda Civil Aviation Authority’s corporate objectives, and determines the operational requirements to achieve these objectives.
Any occurrences with possible safety implications are reported to the safety office for detailed analysis and correction so that the highest practicable levels of safety are achieved.
The department also investigates Accidents and Incidents in order to facilitate the implementation of more effective risk controls and mitigation in Air Navigation Service operations.

The Research and Development Unit was established to address the recent changes in technology that have created a skills and technology gap
In-house innovations such as software development to support aging equipment and manual work methods, and training to develop personnel skills provide practical and cost-effective solutions in maintenance, management and operation of existing systems and processes.

Performance-Based Navigation (PBN) is area navigation based on performance requirements for aircraft operating along an air traffic services route, on an instrument approach procedure or in a designated airspace;

PBN departure and arrival procedures allow the following:
a) Reduction in controller-pilot communications;
b) Reduction of route lengths to meet environmental and fuel efficiency requirements;
c) Seamless transition from and to en-route entry/exit points;
d) Sequence departures to maximize benefits of Area Navigation (RNAV) and identify automation requirements for traffic flow management, sequencing tools, flight plan processing, and tower data entry activities.

The Africa Indian Ocean (AFI) Region Performance Based Navigation (PBN) Implementation Plan details the framework within which the ICAO PBN concept will be implemented in the AFI Region for the foreseeable future. The primary driver for this Plan is to maintain and increase safety, air traffic demand and capacity, and services and technology in consultation with relevant stakeholders. The AFI Region Plan also supports national and international interoperability and global harmonization.

Uganda has developed a National PBN Implementation Plan for guidance in PBN implementation

GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) is a satellite system that is used to pinpoint the geographical location of a user’s receiver anywhere in the world. Two GNSS systems are currently in operation: the United States’ Global Positioning System (GPS) and the Russian Federation’s Global Orbiting Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS).
GNSS provides seamless global navigation guidance and allow aircraft to follow more efficient flight paths; usage of GNSS procedures allows Uganda to design en-route and terminal airspace for maximum capacity and minimum delays.
Uganda has designed GNSS approach procedures for Entebbe International Airport; they are operational on test basis. Refer to the AIP Supplement Number S2/07 for these procedures

An air traffic obstacle is a tall structure which can endanger air traffic. Air traffic obstacles have to be marked in most cases with red and white colored markings and with aircraft warning lights at night. On larger structures blinking lights are required.
Examples of air traffic obstacles include the air traffic control tower, skyscrapers, antennas, radio and TV masts
Refer to the Uganda AIP AD 2.10 for  all aerodrome obstacles, and ENR 5.4 for Air Navigation Obstacles

Accidents and Incidents
An accident is defined as an occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft that takes place between the time any person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight and all such persons have disembarked, and in which any person suffers death or serious injury, or in which the aircraft receives substantial damage.
An incident is an occurrence other than an accident that affects or could affect the safety of operations.
Incident reporting
The purpose of reporting incidents is to promote safety of aircraft. Incidents are reported to investigatory authorities in the Directorate of Air Navigation Services by completing the Air Traffic Incident Report Form and forwarding it to the Manager Air Traffic Management at

Airspace Design

Uganda has designed its airspace with the objective of ensuring an efficient, flexible and dynamic airspace structure, based on multi-option routings; Uganda will soon redesign the airspace to support adaptable ATC sectorisation and other features that will accommodate future air traffic demand.

Airspace Classes
Airspace classes are allocated depending on the need to actively control access to airspace and the nature of the activity that takes place within it.
For more detailed information regarding the Airspace Classifications view the ENR section of the AIP with specific reference to:
ENR 1.4 – ATS Airspace Classification
ENR 6.1 – Chart/s of the ATS Airspace Classifications

The Centre provides MET Service for international air navigation on behalf of Uganda;
The provision of meteorological (Met) services to civil aviation promotes the safety, efficiency and regularity of air navigation.
Civil Aviation Authority has an obligation to ensure that certain Met information is provided and meets internationally agreed requirements in respect of qualifications and training of staff that provide such information.

There are a number of meteorology self-briefing facilities, many available via the public internet. Nevertheless, Uganda Civil Aviation Authority continues to ensure that access to meteorology products is provided to users who require safety related amplification and clarification of forecasts (by telephone and the Meteorology unit co-located with Entebbe AIS Aerodrome Unit).
Civil Aviation Authority ensures that meteorology services are provided on approved ICAO telecommunications networks.

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