According to the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA), Entebbe International Airport would have the capacity to accommodate 3.4 million people annually by July of next year.
UCAA Director General Fred Bamwesigye stated that the airport is undertaking an upgrade that would boost its ability to accommodate both passengers and cargo during a visit by the legislative committee on physical infrastructure.
“The terminal building capacity will be enhanced from the current capacity of 2 million passengers a year to at least 3.5 million passengers by July 2024 upon completion of all the above infrastructural upgrade projects,” stated Bamwesigye.
He said that Entebbe International Airport has undergone $9.5 million in automation and modernization, which was carried out in collaboration with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and put into service in September of last year. The results include the installation of an air traffic service message handling system that is distributed to Arua, Gulu, Soroti, Kasese, Kisoro, and Mbarara, an Airport Operations Data Base (AODB), and a computerized maintenance management system and terminal operations control center.
The Director General of UCAA also mentioned some of the significant changes made to the airport, such as the addition of flight information display screens, CCTV, and other support systems, as well as the enhancement of ATM procedures, which includes the optimization of arrival, departure, and en route procedures.
“The departures area was expanded as part of the renovations to the existing passenger terminal building, and a portion of it is currently in use. The main entrance to the building will open later this year, allowing departing passengers to be dropped off at the terminal building entrance. To provide more space and atmosphere for departing passengers, the project’s arrivals component is also being worked on, according to Bamwesigye.
Passenger flow increases
Since the conclusion of the Covid epidemic, passenger traffic has grown gradually, the UCAA Director General said MPs.
According to him, Entebbe reported 80,701 passengers arriving and 90,605 passengers exiting in September 2023, for a total of 171,306 passengers—or 5,710 people on average—daily.
“From January to September of 2023, 1,390,495 passengers were facilitated, as opposed to 1,170,744 in 2019.” Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were 1.8 million foreign passengers in 2019, but the overall number of passengers in 2022 was 1,574,405 in 2019. This indicates a recovery rate of 87%,” he stated.
He stated that the airport processed 4,930 metric tons in total last month—1,617 imports and 3,313 exports.