The Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) is currently assessing the feasibility of relocating residents from Kigungu in Entebbe Municipality, who reside near Entebbe International Airport.
This evaluation is part of a broader master plan to further expand and modernize the airport, enhancing its competitiveness.
Mr. Fred Bamwesigye, the Director General of UCAA, revealed this during an inspection of ongoing works at Entebbe International Airport conducted by the parliamentary committee on physical infrastructure.
The expansion plans necessitate the acquisition of additional land around the airport, which, in turn, may require the valuation of land by the Chief Government Valuer.
This valuation process is expected to take approximately six months, with compensation contingent on the availability of funds.
Mr. Bamwesigye explained the need for approximately five more square miles of land to accommodate the airport’s expansion plans.
He noted that discussions with the local community have been positive, provided they receive adequate compensation.
However, the capacity to provide compensation lies with the government, and collaboration will be necessary.
Furthermore, Mr. Bamwesigye highlighted recent enhancements to the passenger terminal building, particularly the expansion of the departures area.
Part of this area is already in use, awaiting the opening of the main entrance to the terminal building later this year.
Additional work is underway to create a more spacious and welcoming environment for departing passengers.
Upon the completion of various infrastructure upgrade projects, the terminal building’s capacity is expected to increase from its current 2 million passengers per year to at least 3.5 million passengers by July 2024.
Mr. Bamwesigye also shared statistics on passenger numbers, indicating a significant recovery, with 87 percent of pre-pandemic levels achieved in 2022.
Additionally, he mentioned that UCAA is scheduled to undergo the ICAO Universal Security Audit Programme – Continuous Monitoring Programme (USAP – CMA) in January 2024 to assess the effectiveness of Uganda’s security systems in compliance with international standards.
The Vice Chairperson of Parliament’s physical infrastructure committee, Mr. Tony Awany, expressed support for the airport expansion, emphasizing the need to address encroachments on airport land and commending UCAA’s progress in upgrading facilities.