UGANDA – Entebbe International airport is set to reopen for international passenger flights for the first time since March 12, 2020 after closure occasioned by the COVID -19 pandemic that forced it to discontinue passenger flights except for evacuation and cargo.

The closure hit the tourism which heavily relies on the aviation sector.

Passenger safety is being enhanced for the reopening of Uganda’s Entebbe International Airport thanks to a donation of vital safety equipment from the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The airport is due to reopen on 1 October 2020.

The donation, valued at $271,000) includes a Thermo scanner, one automated walk-through disinfection booth, and four stand-alone air conditioners as well as personal protective equipment (PPE).

Joy Kabatsi, Minister of State for Transport said that the equipment received from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) will complement the COVID-19 measures already in place to ensure a comfortable passenger experience through Entebbe International Airport.

Similarly, Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) in a September 8 letter to airlines’ executives said that 13 flights, to and from the airport have been cleared for the first day while 10 flights are confirmed for the second day. 

Latest airport passenger traffic stand at over 1.84m, up from 1.65m recorded in 2017 and will continue to rise.

This number is projected to reach 7.5m passengers in the next 15 years.

Correspondingly, domestic passenger traffic also recorded a 41.9 per cent growth from 18,824 in 2017 to 26,711 in 2018.

Commercial aircraft movements registered a 10.4 per cent growth with a rise from 29,327 in 2017 to 32,386 aircraft movements in 2018.

The airport is currently being expanded to increase its passenger capacity handle up to 3 million passengers annually with a floor area of 20,000m2

The expansion is being done at a cost of $ 200M.

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