The first phase of the expansion of passenger and cargo handling facilities at Entebbe International Airport is going on at brisk pace and is expected to be completed on schedule, Uganda’s Civil Aviation Authority has said.
A glance at the ongoing work at the airport would resemble an unexceptional airport infrastructure expansion work. The taxi parking lots, area of passengers movement at the multipurpose arrival and departure centre, have been neatly demarcated by barriers segregating activities of project site without hampering the daily activities of the greenfield and busy airport. There are arrangements in place by putting up sufficient way finding signage, deployment of adequate staff from the airport operator. However, venturing inside the site area would present a different picture altogether of a complex infrastructure project that is being given shape by machines of various capacities, as they form the vital integral construction machinery for the expansion project to materialize.
Dr. David Mpango, the CAA acting managing director and his members of staff are seen from time to time busy comparing notes with Seyani Brothers & Co. (U) Ltd and Chinese firm Communications Construction Company – competent firms both undertaking the works.
The architect alongside CAA has designed the project in such a way keeping the need for wider economic growth of the region and the role of the Entebbe in mind as this city is the major gateway of the country.
Dr. Mpango on Friday while addressing journalists during the tour of the ongoing works, said the currently, 10 percent works for the construction of new Arrivals and Departures concession blocks have been accomplished.
“This particular project being handled by Seyani Brothers is internally funded by us at Civil Aviation Authority at a cost sum of Shs42 billion and is expected to be delivered by the end of 2018,” Dr. Mpango said.
CAA said it hopes to have 930 arriving passengers and 820 departing passengers from the current 410 arriving and 320 departing passengers during peak hours.
The increased numbers at the airport has led to less efficient passenger handling, which leads to crowding at the airport. The new centre will be able to handle 3.3 million passengers by 2023.
He informed that at present Dar Al-Handash Shair & Partners are scrutinizing the designs prepared by the Design and Build Contractor, rendering clarifications and supervising the construction works to ensure timely completion of the works. “They (Dar) know that Uganda expects less of timely completion of works, quality and compliance with the design specifications.”
He further said that before the consultant came on board, the project was supervised by a panel of experts comprising of engineers and architects from the Ministry of Works and Transport and CAA.
Plans for the expansion and refurbishment of Arua Airfield and a host of other airfields across the country are also in high gear, CAA Airports Director Eng. John Kagoro assured journalists.
“Am happy to say that CAA is working hand-in-hand with government agencies like Uganda Tourism Board and other stakeholders to expanded and modernise aerodromes in Kisoro, Kidepo, Gulu, Kasese and Arua. We have invited tenders for construction especially in the tourism corridors,” Eng. Kagoro said.
The new Cargo Centre, which is part of the works under the supervision of the consultants commenced smoothly in May, 2016 at Entebbe. Earthworks have been completed and the contractor is now working on the airside and landside access roads.