Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | President, Yoweri Museveni has rejected a request by the Civil Aviation Authority-CAA to use Nakasongola airport as an alternative to Entebbe International Airport in case of emergency.
On Tuesday, Engineer Edward Kaweesi Ndawula, the CAA Board Chairperson told Museveni during the arrivals of the first two air crafts for the revived Uganda national airlines that Uganda lacks an alternative international airport that can allow in incoming flights in case of emergency, which forces them to divert traffic to Nairobi.
He proposed that CAA takes over the management of Nakasongola airport to operate as a dual purpose airport just like Entebbe, handling both military and civilian flights.
Ndawula said CAA has spent over Shillings 30 billion repairing the taxi and run ways. He said they only need to build a terminal and other air service systems to use it as an alternative international airport.
However, Museveni rejected the proposal out rightly, saying he doesn’t want to mix military operations with civilian.
He explained that government is building other airports in Hoima, Gulu and Arua, saying CAA can utilize one of those.
Nakasongola airport was built by president, Iddi Amin in the 1970s with the help of Israel. It has been undergoing facelift since 2014, which included the extension of its run way.
In 2014, Museveni said he planned to move the entire army airbase from Entebbe to Nakasongola, saying “a lion stays in the wilderness, not in town. If you see a lion staying in town that means it is in a zoo…”
Museveni said then that it was only proper that the army stays in Nakasongola.
This has however, not happened. The Nakasongola airport now has a single asphalt runway and taxiway measuring approximately 3,000 metres (9,800ft) in length.