The Managing Director Civil Aviation Authority, David Kakuba has said that there has been an increase in the passenger traffic at Entebbe International Airport as a result of the ongoing developments aimed at expanding the airport.
Kakuba said that although the numbers are an inconvenience for the civil works that are happening concurrently, it is a positive trend for business.
He was briefing a technical monitoring and evaluation team that was on a visit to reviewing the ongoing expansion of the airport.
The team from the Ministry of Works and various transport agencies was led by John Baptist Senduli.
Their findings on the implementation of the project will then inform a report to be presented to donors during the annual Transport Sector review slated for next month.
Senduli said part of the focus was on the role of Private Public Partnerships in infrastructure development as well as the issue of local content.
“We are in course; we are trying to avoid any cost overruns. Next month, we shall start the construction of the state of the art international cargo terminal which is funded by government through a grant,” Kakuba told the team.
He added: “We have seen the number of arrivals increase as a result of the works in modifying the immigration counters for the arrival. As much as this has caused an inconvenience but it is better to know the numbers rise well knowing there is a plan to cater for them.”
The project which was contracted by China Nanjing International at a cost of Sh308 million will increase the number of counters from 24 to 20 with 4 booths each. This will be complete by next month.
Later, John McDonald the Team Leader of Dar Al-Handasah, the company contracted to supervise the overall contractor, China Communication Construction Company (CCCC) briefed the team on the project plans which include establishment of a new cargo terminal with a capacity of 100,000 tons per annum.
At completion, ample space for smaller cargo planes will be created, new taxi ways introduced while the apron capacity will also be increased.
The runway is also going to be resurfaced to cater for increasing number of aircrafts and cargo.
He said the terminal which is projected to be completed by October 2018 would double the existing capacity. The works are at 24.6% progress.
In other works, a long term car parking will be constructed to accommodate up to 424 vehicles by the time Phase 2 is finished.
The Shs5 billion project to be undertaken by Energo Project will take 17 months and is at 90% progress.
In as much as Kakuba said that works were progressing well, he hinted on the land dispute in which a cultural group was claiming ownership of 96 acres of the airport land.
This, he said, was derailing the speed at which the civil works should be executed.
“There’s an interesting case about the Mamba clan who have their traditional shrine along the lake. When we started this project, these people unscrupulously claimed that the land where the airport partly sits (96 acres was their traditional land. The case is in court. We are ready to appeal to our political principals so that this USD 200 million project is not frustrated by self-seekers,” he told journalists.
On his part, the project supervisor mentioned limited availability of required quality of logistics locally and the inconveniences due to continued use of the facilities as challenging.