By Resty Nassazi
Upon completion of the first phase of expanding Entebbe Airport in 2021, the facility is expected to handle 3.5million passengers, way higher than 1.84million passengers who used the airport in 2018. Fred Bamwesigye the deputy director general for Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) noted that, overall expansion project of the airport, stands at 56%. “The on-going airport works include erection of new cargo centre with storage capacity of 100,000 tonnes, higher than 59,000 of the former storage facility,” stated Bamwesigye.
This was during a press briefing and tour of Entebbe airport expansion project, on Friday where a team from UCAA inspected the ongoing works of expanding Uganda’s international airport. The US$200m project which is being carried out by China Communications Construction Company(CCCC), also includes upgrading of runways, taxiways, commercial centre, aircraft parking aprons, water tanks, terminal building, fuel hydrant lines and fuel farm among others.
According to Bamwesigye, overall progress of the cargo complex stands at 80%. “This includes; access road 91%, service road 62%, cargo apron 81%, taxiway K 98%, landside area 56% and a commercial centre which is expected to be complete by end of August,” elaborated the UCAA deputy director general.
The fuel farm will have a storage capacity of 21 million litres according to Promise Anagolu the country director of Tristar company which is charged with the construction of the fuel farm and fuel hydrants. “This is going to be an automated facility with hydrants carrying fuel 2.5km to different aprons,” explained Anagolu. John McDonalds a team leader of Dar Al-handasah the supervising and consultancy company for the projects, said, the projects have quite been lagged by unfavourable weather conditions more especially rains. “Also being a busy airport, it has quite slowed the work but we’re still on course,” added McDonalds.
To break down on the construction progress, Li Xin Wang of CCCC said, taxiway alpha is at 66% while taxiway extension is 98% complete. “The Aircraft parking apron 4 is at 47% and expected to be complete by December while aircraft parking apron 2 is at 28% complete,” explained Wang. The first phase of upgrading and expansion of Entebbe airport which commenced in 2016, is expected to be complete by 2021, from when the second phase will begin for the next five years.