The Civil Aviation Authority of Uganda (UCAA) has reconfirmed its readiness to resume the passenger flight operations slated to kick off tomorrow October 1, 2020.
The aviation sector, among others, was the most hit by the novel Coronavirus that affected many business, prompting pay-cuts, layoffs as companies struggled to keep afloat.
Following the outbreak of the pandemic, Uganda suspended commercial passenger flights in and out of Entebbe International Airport on March 22, 2020, with a call for the need to mitigate the spread of the pandemic through air travel.
However, the Aviation industry in Uganda, just like many others across the globe, is slowly picking up and getting back to its feet by adjusting to the new ways of doing business with the observance of the set Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
President Museveni, in his recent address on September 20, permitted the re-opening of the aviation sector in Uganda, allowing tourists in and out of the Country and Ugandans returning home from different countries.
In light to this, the Civil Aviation Authority of Uganda announced Tuesday September 29 that all is set to handle passenger flights without fail and are to resume on October 1.
Speaking to journalists on Tuesday at Entebbe International Airport, Fred Bamwesigye, the Acting Director General UCAA said the authority was already set some time back and has only been waiting for the resumption of flights and the subsequent activities.
Bamwesigye cited that UCAA has designed a plan for the resumption of flights in phases with first phase running from October 1 to December 2020.
“Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) in conjunction with air operators has drawn a plan for the resumption of flights in phases, with the first phase covering the period from October to December 2020, which is expected to have scaled down operations,” he said.
Bamwesigye also added that, “the Airlines will only be allowed to have one flight a day for now, but with time, the operations will be increased and we plan to have more flights in the second phase covering six months starting in January. We shall continue assessing the situation and probably increase the frequencies in April 2021.”
However, the Authority said that for one to qualify to enter or leave the country, they ought to abide by the guidelines put in place and strictly observe the Standard Operating Procedures at the airport.
The set guidelines include;
- All departing passengers are required to present authentic and valid Covid-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test certificate issued within 120 hours before travel.
- Only passengers and Airport users with official business in the terminal will be allowed access to the Airport.
- Airport users should sanitize upon arrival and after touching surfaces or documents.
- Passengers will always have to wear face masks appropriately within the terminal.
- All passengers arriving at Entebbe international Airport are expected to scan finger prints under instructions of the immigration officer and be subjected to sanitize before and after.
- Departing passengers shall arrive at the airport at least 4 hours before scheduled flights
- Airlines shall not board any passengers coming to Uganda without a negative Covid-19 PCR test. An arriving passenger without the negative Covid-19 PCR test shall be denied entry and the Airline shall be obliged to take back the passenger.
- Arriving passengers shall also possess an authentic negative PCR Covid-19 test from an accredited laboratory within 72 hours before boarding aircraft in-bound to Uganda.
- All passengers will be subjected to temperature screening on entry to the airport.
Passengers who exhibit signs and symptoms of the infection shall be transported in an ambulance to an isolation center (Entebbe Referral Hospital) for a Covid-19 test.
In case a foreign national tests Covid-19 positive and wishes to be repatriated for treatment in another facility outside Uganda, this shall be done at their cost following Covid-19 medical evacuation protocols among other SOPs.