Entebbe International Airport will be able to comfortably land the biggest passenger aircraft, an Airbus A380 on completion of upgrade and expansion works, which include widening of Runway 17/35, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the body responsible for aviation announced Tuesday.
“The expansion of Entebbe is on schedule and this is a major step forward in preparing the airport to handle bigger passenger and cargo traffic, which is rising steadily every year,” CAA Public Affairs Manager, Mr. Vianney Luggya told Star TV during an interview yesterday morning.
“We are currently handling passenger and cargo traffic that had been projected for 2019. When the planned national airline comes on board, it is expected to further increase passenger traffic figures including transit pasengers and provide more direct route travel options in and out of Uganda.”
The airport was officially opened in 1952 and government targets to, among others, expand its departure and arrival terminals using internally generated revenue. An additional Shs721b loan the government acquired from China is being used to construct a new Cargo Centre, expand the Aircraft Parking Apron, Taxiways and widen the runway, among other works.
“Entebbe Airport will be able to comfortably land Airbus 380 when the runway is expanded,” Mr. Luggya explained to Star TV presenter Giovanni Baale. RwandAir’s Airbus 330-200 and Emirates’ Boeing 777 are among some of the big planes that frequent Entebbe International Airport since September 2016.
Mr. Luggya alongside CAA Manager Marketing and Commercial Services Mr. Tom Wasswa also held that the new cargo centre will be complete in four years.
“Cargo traffic at the airport has increased from 6,600 metric tonnes in 1991 to 59,000 at the turn of last year, with projections of estimated growth at 6.5 per year for the next 17 years thus requiring a new 100,000 tonnes capacity cargo centre to accommodate the growth.”
During a media tour of the ongoing expansion works at Entebbe recently, David Kakuba Mpango, the new CAA Managing Director said 10% of the expansion works for construction of the new arrivals and departures concession blocks had been accomplished.
“This particular project undertaken by Seyani Brothers is internally funded by Civil Aviation authority at a contract sum of Ush42b and is expected to be delivered by the end of 2018,” said Kakuba.
Kakuba said the National Civil Aviation Master Plan projects 930 arriving passengers and 820 departing passengers during peak hours by 2033.
Some of the recently completed works at the airport include automation of the aeronautical information management system and modification of the VVIP terminal, CAA Public Affairs Manager Mr. Vianney Luggya (C) and Manager Marketing and Commercial Services Tom Wasswa (L) said during Monday’s interview at Kampala’s STAR TV.