Kabalega Airport Nears Completion, Test Landing Scheduled for December

kabalega airport nears completion test landing scheduled for december
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Kabalega International Airport, formerly known as Kabaale International Airport in Hoima District, is getting ready for its first cargo plane test landing in December 2023. This test will precede the official commencement of operations at the airport.

The ambitious $309 million project in Kabale Sub-County began on April 18, 2018, through a collaboration between SBC Uganda Ltd and SBI International Holdings.

Originally, the airport’s opening was planned for 2022, but according to Amos Muriisa, the public relations representative of SBC Uganda, the runway construction is now at 98% completion.

Muriisa also mentioned that preparations for a control tower are in progress. Discussions regarding funding and timeline extensions are currently taking place.

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Amos Muriisa confirmed during a guided tour for members of the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU), organized by the Petroleum Authority of Uganda, that the airport expects its first cargo plane to land in December 2023.

“We plan to have a control tower before we hand it over. Discussions are still underway, but this December, we are going to test the airport because you can see the runway is 98% complete,” stated Muriisa.

Muriisa emphasized that the quality of work is a top priority for the project.

Peter Muriisa, the Chief Legal and Corporate Affairs Officer at Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC), highlighted that the airport’s development aims to support the transportation needs of the region’s oil industry and boost tourism.

“The government has invested significantly in this project, approximately $350 million. The intention is to use this facility for the development of the country, importing equipment, exporting produce to other countries, welcoming tourists, and potentially establishing regional airstrips,” said Peter Muriisa.

Sheikh Shaban Mubaje, a member of the IRCU team, commended the government for its infrastructure development efforts. He expressed hope that this development would improve the lives of their congregations and result in more substantial offerings.

Mubaje stated, “According to what we are seeing, there is a future for Uganda. As religious leaders, we are hopeful that our people, instead of bringing offerings in the form of eggs, sugarcane, and clusters of bananas to churches or mosques, will be able to contribute more, such as one hundred bags of cement, due to the prosperity anticipated in the near future.”

The airport features a 3.5-kilometer runway, 45 meters wide, with 15-meter-wide shoulders on each side. The airport apron is designed to accommodate four of the largest cargo planes, with two turn pads on either side.

During their visit, IRCU members also toured the enviro serve area responsible for managing waste products from oil drilling areas and observed the civil works for Pump Station 1 of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline in Nyamasoga Village, Kabaale Sub-County, Hoima District.

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