Works on Nakasongola UPDF air base begin

Saturday April 5 2014

Maj Gen Sam Turyagyenda (L), the Air Force

Maj Gen Sam Turyagyenda (L), the Air Force commander, Chief of Defence Forces, Gen Katumba Wamala (C) and Capt Bataringaya (R) walk on the runway of the Nakasongola Air base on Friday. Renovation of the air base is to last six months and is projected to cost Shs28 billion. PHOTO BY STEPHEN WANDERA 



Government has begun rehabilitating and upgrading Nakasongola military airbase.
After completion, the UPDF Air Force will move most of its combat aircraft to the base.

The airbase has a runway of 3.6km, slightly shorter than that of Entebbe International Airport. The airbase will also be used as an alternative airport in case of emergencies.

Ugandan air traffic is always diverted to Nairobi in cases of emergency.
The Nakasongola airbase which was built by former President Idi Amin has been in a state of disuse for many years.

Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), ministries of Works and Defence are overseeing the renovation, which are being undertaken by Energo Project. The renovation is expected to be complete within six months. The Chief of Defence Forces, Gen Katumba Wamala said Entebbe airbase is congested and it’s not safe for the air force equipment.

“Those very, very valuable assets will be moved. President Museveni has been insisting that we move away from Entebbe and this is the beginning,” Gen Katumba said.

Mr Ignie Igundura, the CAA public affairs manager, said a new control tower, pavement and apron will be built while the fire station will be repaired.

Nakasongola air base was built in the 1970s by Israelites as the headquarters of the Uganda air force. The air base is at a strategic location where UPDF can conduct flights over DR Congo and South Sudan.