With just days to the arrival of the revamped Uganda Airlines new aircraft, Government has decided to retake control of the East African Civil Aviation Academy (EACAA), also known as the Soroti Flying School.
The school, located at the Soroti Airport, which has been in operation for nearly 50 years, offers among others pilot training.
Government spokesman Ofwono Opondo says Cabinet yesterday, endorsed a proposal by the Ministry of Works and Transport for government to take over ownership of the school.
This comes a few years after government made a decision to hand the school back to the East African Community.
The school was established back in 1971 under the Directorate of Civil Aviation of the EAC with support from UNDP, and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
However, with the collapse of the EAC in 1977, government of Uganda took over ownership of the school, until 2012 when a decision was made to hand it back to the EAC.
At the time, the institution was nearly crumbling, and in dire need for at least 5billion shillings to continue running normally.
In 2014 the EAC Council of Ministers agreed to take back control of the school and later that year, presidents of Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda agreed in principle to re-instate the EACAA as one of the centers of excellence in the EAC.
Yesterday’s decision for government to take back ownership of the school, is believed to be in line with government’s commitment to resuscitate the country’s aviation industry.
The government mouthpiece, Mr Opondo says government intends to revive the flying school to start providing local training of pilots and Aircraft Maintenance Engineers not only for the revived Uganda Airlines, but also the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Air Forces, Uganda Police Air Wing and the Executive (Presidential) Jet.
The decision is also hoped to “maximize the benefits from investments made by Government of Uganda at EACAA since 1977, and save the country colossal sums of foreign exchange which would be used for training pilots and Aircrafts Maintenance Engineers abroad/overseas.”