Entebbe, Kabaale airports want more land for expansion

Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) has asked government to acquire more land for the expansion of Entebbe and Kabaale airports.

”This time we want to expand but we have difficulty in acquiring land; even upcountry. Even where we think we have compensated owners, people continue to encroach. For example in Arua, Tororo, Soroti and  Kabaale,” said the Ag. Director General UCAA Mr Fred Bamwesigye.

He told Works and Transport ministers who were vising Entebbe International Airport early this week.

“I want to say this without any fear of contradiction; land offices aren’t really up to speed with this matter because we think that a government facility like this should be supported by everybody since it’s a public facility but we have challenges,” he added.

According to Mr Richard Mujungu Ruhesi, the director Air Navigation Services, there’s inadequacy of land yet when the master plan was done, the requirement for land for the airport expansion was necessary for the airport to locate first as an orientation and then everything else would follow.

“The airport master plan recommended five square kilometers for UCAA within the Kabaale industrial park. This land is required for first phase of the construction and future infrastructure development since. The airport is planned to serve as the alternative to Entebbe international airport. As per Uganda National Oil Company, they said the land available for the airport in the Kabaale industrial park is 3.22 square kilometers which is inadequate for future development,” he said.

However the state minister for works and transport, Mr Musa Ecweru said an airport is the face of the country and therefore ought to reflect what the country is.

“When you see things that are positive as you land here it makes you want to summarise Uganda and we have really appreciated the work done by UCAA,” he said.

"Tourists use this airport to enter the country and to give us money. We need to be on alert in case there are any corrupt officials, get rid of them because these projects can’t run when the officials who are corrupt are there,” he said.

The overall reported physical progress of the upgrade and expansion of Entebbe international airport is at 75 percent.