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Plans for two new airports unveiled – Business Leaders

August 15, 2012 No Comments »

Ambitions plans have been unveiled by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to expand two of Uganda’s aerodromes into International Airports at an estimated cost of $240 million.

The expansion proposals are aimed at easing increasing traffic numbers at Uganda’s Entebbe International Airport which in the past three years has seen passenger numbers swell from 500,000 passengers to 1.2 million a year.

Engineering designs and master plans have already been drawn up to develop Gulu (Northern Uganda) and Kasese (Western Uganda) aerodromes into airports.

The CAA’s Public Relations Manager Ignie Igunduura said: "The master plan studies' report has already been submitted to Government but they (aerodromes) are going to be developed in phases because it wouldn't be easy to do all of them in one go."

Air Transport is of significant importance to Uganda, which is a landlocked country, as it provides the most efficient and quickest transport means to get to and from the country. It also provides the main means of transport for Uganda’s perishable high value commodities and it is thus high on the Government’s priority list.

The Government is understood to be in negotiations with a Chinese company to help fund the two aerodrome projects.

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In July, Entebbe Airport received the 2012 Routes Africa Marketing Accolade for managing to attract the largest number of reputable airlines but the Airport is finding it difficult to manage the ever growing traffic.

There are fears that if expansion of airport services is not fast-tracked, growing traffic numbers could overwhelm the authorities particularly with the United Nations base near Entebbe Airport which will have nearly 6,000 personnel together with the onset of oil drilling.

The construction of two new airports would mean the pressure would ease from Entebbe and passengers would be able to fly directly to and from these areas.

The CAA currently manages 13 aerodromes as well as the Entebbe Airport, but there are other privately owned airfields. The Arua Aerodrome (West Nile) is also undergoing expansion and the CAA is also working on acquiring more land for access roads.

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