Air traffic controllers under their association, the Uganda Air Traffic Controllers Association (UGACTA), have threatened to put down their tools over delayed disbursement of their rating allowance which has gone unpaid for five years now.
Mr Paul Kalembe, the outgoing president of UGACTA, and air service manager at the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), while speaking during the association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) last week ,said much as they ensure safety as planes land and depart, their role is not fully recognised.
Mr Kalembe said although they have been petitioning CAA over the matter since 2012, the aviation body has been promising to look in to the matter but in vain.
However, Ms Rose Namukwaya the director human resources at CAA, who represented the managing director at the AGM said the rating allowance was approved subject to producing a bench mark report which was part of the resolution.
A benchmark report would provide comparison with neighbouring countries’ rating allowances to help determine what Uganda would give.
“Our association has done its bench marks, since we are affiliated to the association of International Air Service Controllers and as such can easily access their rating allowances,” Mr Kalembe said.
Ms Namukwaya said they would look for finances to address the issue and get a benchmark report from Kenya and Tanzania which have already implemented the rating allowance.
The Uganda Air traffic Controllers Association has 86 members who are working at three aerodromes in Uganda. Entebbe International Airport employs about 45 of them.
Mr Mike Mukula the patron of the Air traffic controllers in Uganda who represented Gen Katumba Wamala commended the air traffic controllers for ably maintaining air traffic movement without any accidents. He said it was important to look at bringing the East African community together by building common platforms as air traffic controllers association in the region.
“African continent is weak because we are disunited. We need East Africa to come together as a political union to tackle development issues in the region,” he said.
Mr Mukula urged the air traffic controllers to aim for the bigger rolls and top jobs in the aviation industry because it is the only way their issues can be hard. He pledged to help them organise a meeting with the president to look in to skilling them and also addressing some of the problems they are facing.