Contractors working on Kabaale International Airport in Hoima have reported 21 per cent progress done a year after work commenced.
After its completion in the next 28 months, Kabaale will be Uganda’s second international airport after Entebbe. It is also expected to facilitate the oil refinery, tourism and agriculture in this region.
This project’s construction funded by the United Kingdom Export Finance (UKEF) at a tune of Shs1.1 trillion (Euros 264m) involves construction of a Code 4F Runway of 3.5 kilometres.
Speaking to Prosper magazine after the tour of work progress, Civil Aviation Authority’s manager public affairs Vianney Luggya, said, “After construction, Kabaale’s runway will be able to handle big and heavy aircraft.”
Mr Tahar Cheriff, the project’s resident engineer, said: “Tremendous progress has been achieved and we can comfortably say 21 per cent of work has been done. This is especially on the earthworks for the runway, which involved digging up and compaction of soil up to 27 metres from the ground to ensure a completely firm foundation.”
In February 2018, the government of Uganda selected Shikun and Binui – a construction firm based in Israel – to construct this airport.
The construction of this airport is being undertaken by Solel Boneh International Holdings (SBI), the international arm of Shikun and Binui.
The scope of work includes paving a 3.5 kilometres (11,000 ft) of runways, carrying out of earthwork and drainage activities, pouring of cement and asphalt, building of electro-mechanical, communications and navigation systems and erection of an air traffic control tower, a cargo terminal, additional residencies and service structures.
SBC Uganda Limited – a joint venture company between Colas Limited of the United Kingdom and SBI International Holdings of Uganda – started constructing the airport in April 2018.
Mr Luggya said: “The first phase of construction, including the runway and cargo-handling facilities, is expected to be ready around 2020. This phase is primarily to support construction of the oil refinery.”
The second phase of construction focuses on the facilitation of passengers and boosting tourism and business, is expected to conclude around 2022.
This airport will also have an Aircraft Parking Apron covering space of 81,500 square metres with capacity to park four large body aircrafts and with a possibility of further expansion in future.
This project also involves construction of a multi-purpose terminal building for cargo and passengers, control tower, airfield ground lighting system, a fire station, car park, access road, taxiway, perimeter fence and electrical centre, among other facilities.