The Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) has put in a request to Government for a bailout of 150 billion shillings to enable sustainability of air transport at Entebbe International Airport.
In a statement issued by UCAA management, the Authority says it was unable to maintain operations at the national airport since its main source of income was cut off.
The Authority says it derives revenue from day to day running activities at the airport and therefore the suspension of passenger operations in March 2020 negatively impacted on this revenue which is used to sustain operations at Entebbe International Airport.
“While the Authority (UCAA) previously collected an average of 20 billion shillings, in April 2020, only about 1 billion shillings was earned. The situation is worse at the moment and is not likely to improve in the next few months. The aviation industry will not immediately pick up in terms of passenger traffic even when passenger operations resume,” read the statement in part.
It added, “This implies that the current financial shortfalls may prevail for the entire financial e (2020/2021) yet the airport will be expected to render the same level of service amidst higher international expectations in a bid to restore confidence on measures in place to combat the spread of COVID-19 through air transport.”
“Adhering to social distancing, at the airport will require a lot of interventions including additional space, terminal modification, expediting the ongoing terminal expansion and acquisition of self-service kiosks for check in to reduce human interface in passenger facilitation chain.”
Furthermore, the Authority urges that operational costs are high even during the current period when there are limited flights since the international safety regulations require certain protocols in place whether the airport is handling the 90 – 120 flights per day that Entebbe airport used to handle before COVID-19 or current 7 – 14 flights per day.