Entebbe Airport Floods Prompting Concerns Amid Ongoing Expansion Works by UPDF

Flooding at Entebbe Airport Raises Questions About Construction Quality
PHOTO - NP - Flooding at Entebbe Airport Raises Questions About Construction Quality
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On September 2 and 3, a heavy rainstorm affected Entebbe International Airport’s drainage system, leading to water-related issues within the terminal building. The airport’s extension block, presently accessible through a temporary tent, experienced water leakages due to debris from ongoing construction. These construction activities are projected to conclude by October 2023 and will subsequently be commissioned.

The ongoing expansion and enhancement of facilities aim to improve passenger and airport user experiences. It’s essential to note that a significant portion of the airport is currently a construction site, which can occasionally impact airport operations. Several concurrent projects, including the construction of a new 20,000-square-meter passenger terminal building (currently at 40 percent completion), are underway to connect to the existing terminal building. Additionally, a canopy linking to the terminal building is set for completion soon, simplifying passenger access.

As a response to the need for compliance with COVID-19 guidelines and standard operating procedures, a section of the departure building has been opened for travelers. This measure allows for passenger drop-off and pick-up from the terminal building, improving overall convenience. All airport users are kindly requested to bear with any temporary inconveniences, as these developments are intended to enhance the passenger experience upon completion. – Civil Aviation Authority

Passenger numbers at Entebbe Airport have been steadily increasing following the decline caused by the global travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data from the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) for the months of January to June this year reveals that the airport processed a total of 842,429 international passengers, including 413,223 arrivals and 429,206 departures.

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Mr. Fred K. Bamwesigye, the Director General of UCAA, noted that these numbers surpass those recorded during the same period in 2022. Furthermore, the passenger traffic during January to June 2023 exceeds the figures registered before the COVID-19 outbreak in the same period of January to June 2019, which saw 836,472 international passengers, including 405,458 arrivals and 431,014 departures.

According to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the complete recovery of Africa’s aviation industry from the pandemic’s adverse effects is projected to take place in 2024. ICAO, an agency of the United Nations comprising 193 affiliated countries, was established to foster international cooperation in setting standards, practices, and policies for international civilian flight.

In the coming weeks, Uganda is scheduled to undergo a Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme – Continuous Monitoring Approach conducted by ICAO, followed by the Universal Security Audit Programme next year. Mr. Bamwesigye clarified that these audits assess member states’ compliance with ICAO safety standards, recommended practices, and procedures.

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