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CAA losing 500m UGX daily from Entebbe airport lockdown

Bombadier CEO and Vice President with CAA and National Airlines Board Chairpersons pose for a picture with President Yoweri Museveni.

Kampala, Uganda| AFP |  THE INDEPENDENT |  The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has said it has lost atleast 534 million shillings daily due to the lockdown of Entebbe Airport.

According to the CAA Deputy Executive Director Fred Bamwesigye, on a daily, before April 2020, they were generating revenue of between 16 billion and 17 billion shillings monthly, but that figure has now drastically dropped to less than a billion shillings a month due to the lockdown.

Bamwesigye was on Wednesday appearing before the Parliamentary committee on National Economy to present a statement on the effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on the Aviation industry.

As a result of the lockdown, CAA has for the last 70 Days from April lost atleast 37 billion shillings.

According to Bamwesigye, Ugandas Air traffic has reduced from 136,338 passengers in the month of April 2019 to only 987 (emergency cases) passegers in April 2020.    

The number of Aircraft movement has also reduced from  2,469 in April 2019 to 241 in April 2020. Imports and Exports have also declined from 2,291 and 3,230 tonnes respectively in April 2019 to 1,893 and 993 tonnes in 2020 respectively.

He says the suspension of flights at Entebbe Airport has affected duty free shops, restaurants, Airport taxi operators, fuel farms and ground handlers among others. He says as a result of the lockdown, CAA which employs 1,360 people has sent some people to work from home.

Bamwesigye says that 40 % of their workforce is employed on site, while 60% are working from home and on call when they are needed. On resumption, CAA says they are waiting on the Directive of the President, but return to normalcy will take about 18 months pending on the finalization of a cure of COVID-19.

He says CAA has also already received applications from Airlines to resume operations and Government should look into that. They have called for adequate stimulus to ensure the industry gets back to operations.

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