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Parliament probes Entebbe Airport power outage

FILE PHOTO: Entebbe Aiport is the main entry point into Uganda for planes

 

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has been given two days to provide a report about the power outage that paralysed business at the Entebbe International Airport a week ago.

The demand was made during a meeting between a team from the Civil Aviation Authority and Parliament’s committee on Commissions Statutory Authorities and State Enterprise (COSASE) this afternoon. The CAA team was at Parliament to respond to queries raised by the Auditor-General and also provide an update on the ongoing construction works at the Airport.

During the meetings, legislators questioned the team over a major power outage that reportedly disrupted the landing and departure of flights last Tuesday. Initial reports indicated that some departing flights were delayed for almost an hour as the runway was shrouded in darkness, while one of the planes remained in the skies for half an hour.

Sooma Ayubu, the Director of Airport and Aviation Security explained that the fault resulted from the effect of a heavy downpour on an underground cable that links to the airport lighting system. He says that as a result of the failure of the cable, the ground lighting system went off, disrupting the lighting.

In the aftermath of the incident, the Civil Aviation Authority said that the problem arose from an underground cable connecting to the airfield lighting system, which is undergoing repairs.

“It led to tripping of the circuit breaker for the newly installed remote-controlled system for airport lighting. The new remote-control system has been in use on a test/trial basis since August 13, and is expected to be officially commissioned in October after completion of a change management process,” CAA Spokesperson Vianney Luggya said in a statement.

The committee chairperson Joel Ssenyonyi directed the committee to come up with a report on the lighting challenge within two days and the way forward.

The CAA team is expected to give a report on exactly what transpired, the extent of damage and how to fix it among others.

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