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UCAA Celebrates Women in Aviation Industry

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Mar 12, 2020

By Harriet Asingura

In honour of this year women’s day, the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) celebrated and profiled hard-working  female staff especially those in the aviation technical department such as marine and rescue firefighting services among others. According to prof David Mpango Kakuba the UCAA director general, UCAA has over the years trained and encouraged a number of female staff to take on challenges in specialised aviation spheres that have previously been male- dominated.

Zainab Kampi a female fire-fighter at Entebbe airport demonstrating her skills

“Some of our ladies have subsequently become national and international experts in the various fields of civil aviation,” noted Prof Kakuba, intimating that the aviation authority is looking forward to having 50% female staff. “Ladies have proved beyond reasonable doubt that they can operate ethically and with integrity, that’s why most of our employees in the finance department, are women. They can easily be entrusted with money,” confided Kakuba. The aviation boss noted that UCAA employs 450 ladies out of 1,300 total staff. He pledged to put up incentives plus a favourable environment for ladies willing to join the aviation industry.

Caroline Abenaitwe the only marine lady at Entebbe airport

While demonstrating her fire-fighting skills, Zainab Kampi expressed pride in the job, saying it’s one way to prove that women can execute exactly what men can do. “I can drive and operate all the fire-fighter trucks here at the airport,” revealed Kampi who has an experience of nine years in fire-fighting. She explaining that the job requires visual observation to curb any incidences on the runway and surrounding areas. Just like any other job which comes with challenges, Kampi talked about challenges that come with pregnancy. “But fortunately, whenever a lady gets pregnant under our department, they remain tasked with handling communications as other colleagues go about with the field work,” she further explained.

Zainab Kampi a female fire-fighter at Entebbe Airport

Caroline Abenitwe the only marine lady at the airport, also demonstrated her 19months-expertise in cruising a rescue boat which can save 222 drowning victims. She noted that such kind of work require endurance to challenges, teamwork, and perseverance. She however, pointed out some of the challenges that come with a lady operating from an environment which is dominated by males. “There are moments when you may wish to have privacy as a lady, yet the whole environment is surrounded by men,” intimated Abenaitwe.

Kampi showing how to operate different equipment used in fire-fighting

Among other ladies who were celebrated during the post women’s day celebrations at Entebbe airport include, Kulthum Namataka an Airside operations officer with a 10-year experience in guiding pilots to parking Aprons as well as signaling them to slow down and turn off craft engines. Others were, Irene Atto the manager Air navigation services and Aerodrome standards who has 27years of experience, Milly Kayongo the VIP shift leader, Agatha Murungi the principal security officer in charge of aviation security training and Mary Mbolanyi the technical officer. Also celebrated, was Winnie Akido a senior Air traffic management officer, Jacky Lanyero a fire-fighter, Noeline Kirabo a technical officer in charge of communication navigation and surveillance, and Lucy Turihabwe an officer in charge of Aeronautical information management.

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