The Managing Director of the Civil Aviation Authority Uganda (CAA), Dr. David Kakuba, has asked government to transfer the management of the East African Aviation School in Soroti to the agency so that it can make maximum use of the institution that trains pilots.
Dr. Kakuba made the request on Thursday during the Aviation Week Engagement Breakfast Meeting held at Kampala Serena Hotel under the theme: “Working together to ensure NO country is left behind”.
The Aviation Week is celebrated internationally between December 1-7, every year to commemorate the memorable week of meetings that led to the signing of the famous Chicago Convention, Kakuba said.
He said CAA in 2017 increased international passengers to 1.62 million up from 118,000 in 1991. He said Entebbe International Airport registered 120,000 more international passengers in 2018, compared to the same period last year.
He said CAA has just been awarded the prestigious ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Systems Certification.
He said CAA attaches great importance on regulation of the transport. “We strive to see that every operator adheres to the International standards,” Kakuba said.
He said CCA currently manages 14 airports and that together with the government they are developing the Kabaale International Airport. He added that CCA has passed out 25 well trained fire fighters and marine trainees.
He said it was high time government changed the title of CAA MD. “It is only Uganda which has a CAA Managing Director. The rest of the world has Director Generals,” he said.
CAA Board Member, Mackenzie Ogweng, said the amendment of the CAA Bill will enable Uganda score highly in International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) audit. He said the Bill if passed will harmonise the current title of CAA MD with the rest of similar authorities in the world.
He said the CAA Board needs time to grow the number of passengers from 1.6 million to six million. There is commitment to deliver on the CAA mandate.
Addressing guests, the Minister of Works and Transport Monica Ntege Azuba said the CAA Amendment Bill is on the Order Paper but that it has just delayed because of other urgent issues. “We are discussing CAA using the Soroti training school instead of building a new one,” she said.
The Minister congratulated for recently being awarded the ISO 9001:2015 Certification.
She said government’s resolve is to promote business in the aviation sector. “Several Airlines are planning to commence operations in Uganda starting in Feb 2019,” she said, adding that there is need to fully utilise the aviation infrastructure. “We have appointed marketing people market Uganda abroad. 2018 has been a landmark year for Uganda’s aviation,” she said.
Former Minister of Tourism (Seychelles), Alain St. Ange, who was the key speaker at the event, urged government to market Uganda’s tourism potential. “The major emphasis in the development of the aviation industry should be placed on the visibility of Uganda. The key unique selling points of Uganda are not top in the search rankings. The source of the Nile comes from Uganda and this is really beautiful. The ministry of tourism must push the assets of Uganda,” she said.
He urged government to work with the private sector to help develop the aviation industry as well as the tourism industry. “It is good that the CAA has a representative on the Uganda Tourism Board,” she said.
He said Kabaale International Airport will be of no significance if Uganda is not marketed as a tourist destination. “If you don’t market Uganda as a key tourist destination, the new airport would not help much in development of the aviation industry. The hospitality is important too,” he said.
He advised the ministries of Works and Tourism to develop a new strategy for international visibility of Uganda. “Sell Uganda. Don’t expect the world to know about the beautiful country without informing the world. You must tell the world about Uganda,” she said.