Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Director-General of the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority David Mpango Kakuba is optimistic that the expansion and upgrade of Entebbe International Airport will boost Aviation safety and security.
Kakuba was leading a team of Members of the Infrastructure Committee of Parliament and the Joint Transport Sector Review to monitor the progress of the airport expansion and upgrade. He said that Entebbe International airport receives much more passengers than it was supposed to receive at the inception of the Civil Aviation Authority in 1991.
The airport first handled a paltry 118,000 passengers in the year 1991. The same airport handled 1.84 million passengers in 2018, 17 times higher than the number of passengers close to 30 years ago. According to Kakuba, the growing number of travellers to and from Uganda threatens the safety and security of the airport.
The government earmarked 720 billion Shillings to upgrade and expand Entebbe International Airport. The expansion works are done in phases with the last phase completion set for 2023. All expansion works have been undertaken by the China Communications Construction Company.
Among the infrastructure receiving a facelift and expansion include the access road is 91 per cent complete, the service road used by the Aviation officers towards the runway is 62 Per cent complete, cargo apron is 81 per cent complete, tax way is 98 per cent complete while the lands side area is 56 per cent complete.
Others include a commercial center design which is expected to be completed by the end of August this year, a fuel hydrant line and a fuel firm currently located close to the airport which will be relocated and the construction of the new fuel farm close to new cargo centre at the extreme western end of the airport with progress now standing at 40 per cent.
The reconstruction of the VVIP Parking Apron and airport water tanks is also ongoing alongside a concession block which is expected to have the second Departure and Arrival terminal construction.
James Waluswaka, a member of the Joint Transport Sector Review observed that whereas several works have been accomplished, Quality assurance must be maintained by the contractors while they struggle to meet deadlines.
The overall expansion and upgrade works of the airport stand at 56 per cent.