Civil Aviation Authority has passed out 25 fire fighters and marine rescuers who have been undergoing a four-month training at Entebbe International Airport.
The trainees underwent comprehensive training in both marine and firefighting which equipped them with skills related to Airport Familiarization (details of aircraft), levels of protection /Extinguishing agents, personal safety and communication alongside diving.
Presiding over the ceremony, the Deputy Managing Director Fred Bamwesigye said the aviation industry in Uganda is experiencing tremendous growth which is reflected in the number of new flights and the increasing number of arrivals at the airport, thus the need to have professional manpower that can handle catastrophes in case it occurs.
“As the Industry grows with advances in technology, firefighting and rescue operations become more complicated and challenging, thus the need to train our personnel who can handle such challenges once they occur at the Airport,” he explained.
He said that CAA will continue investing in human personnel and acquiring new equipment such as marine boats and fire extinguishing trucks since the demand for the services in the country is expected to be high following the government decision of opening up new airports and the development of the country’s aerodromes which are distributed across the country.
In 2017, Entebbe International Airport handled 1,620,000 international passengers and 69,000 metric tons of cargo up from118,000 passengers and 6,600 metric tons of cargo in 1991 when CAA was established.
Rev Samuel Atabua, the Chief Fire Officer at CAA said CAA has the capacity to handle all kinds of rescue services both on land and water.
“We have enough team which can handle firefighting and marine rescues, what we need from Government are the financial resources to procure more gadgets such as trucks and marine boats. our staff are fully equipped with the international skills related to fire fighting and marine rescues,“ he said.
Out of the 25 trainees, 19 are firefighters and 6 are marine rescuers.