As the first phase for upgrade and expansion of Entebbe airport nears completion, Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) has expressed a need to acquire more land for future projects regarding aviation. Fred Bamwesigye the deputy director general for UCAA said, there is a need for an aviation training school and a holding centre for animals which have been imported or those about to be exported via air transport. “We have written to relevant government authorities to grant us the remaining 60acres of land which is adjacent to the airport,” said Bamwesigye. The land referred to, by the UCAA deputy director general, currently belongs to Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), where the National Animal Genetic Resource Centre (NAGRIC) and Data bank is situated.
Bamwesigye raised the concern when the Joint transport sector review committee led by minister for works and transport Eng. Monica Azuba, were inspecting the ongoing works of expanding and upgrade of Entebbe airport. The committee which comprised of legislators led by Robert Kafeero of Nakifuma county, concurred with Bamwesigye, saying it’ll be inappropriate for MAAIF to continue rearing animals around the face-lifted airport on addition to the limited land for expansion. “UCAA officials have on several occasions raised this matter whenever they interface with my committee in parliament and we promise to render necessary assistance once they officially write to us,” assured Kafeero.
Entebbe airport sits on one square mile of land whereas the land at which airport expansion works are being carried out, previously belonged to MAAIF before government allocated part of it to UCAA, remaining 60 acres for NAGRIC and data bank.
Expansion and upgrade of Entebbe Airport
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 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.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. During the inspection exercise, David Kakuba the UCAA director general explained that, 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 Kakuba.
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. 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.