MPs criticise aviation over Entebbe airport works

MP Mutonyi

MPs have raised concern over the inconveniences caused as a result of the ongoing rehabilitation, construction and expansion works at Entebbe International Airport.

Hon. Rose Mutonyi Masaaba (Bubulo County West) said that access to the check-in points has been closed off to the ordinary travellers.

The legislator voiced her concerns during the sitting of Parliament on Wednesday, 10th January 2018. Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanyah, chaired the sitting.

“The only open route to the check-in point is for VIPs while the ordinary people, especially Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) and the elderly, have to walk for a long distance,” said Mutonyi.

She added that PWDs are subjected to use stairs to access the check-in point because it is the only available passage.

“The Civil Aviation Authority and the Ministry of Works and Transport should address this matter,” said Mutonyi.

Entebbe International Airport is currently undergoing expansion and development in order to address the country’s growing passenger and cargo traffic.

The expansion project forms part of a 20-year National Aviation Master Plan (2014-2033) unveiled by the Civil Aviation Authority in January 2015.

Hon. Jack Wamanga Wamai (FDC, Mbale Municipality) pointed out that if such facilities are not improved, Uganda risks losing tourists.

“Facilities in Uganda are still a big problem and we must improve if we are to attract tourists to continue visiting our country,” said Wamanga Wamai.

Hon. Hellen Grace Asamo (PWD, Eastern) said that the airport has services for PWDs but that the facilities are selectively provided to travellers, if they demand for them.

She attributed the practice to negligence by Civil Aviation Authority.

The Government Chief Whip, Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa, promised to task the Ministry of Works to address the matter.

“I would like to register regrets for any inconveniences caused and I want to assure Members that this matter will be addressed,” said Nankabirwa.

The expansion project at the airport aims to increase the passenger terminal’s capacity from the current 410 arriving and 320 departing passengers to 930 arriving and 820 departing passengers during peak hours.