The magnificent expansion and upgrade of Entebbe International Airport is almost complete.
The Uganda Civil Aviation Authority estimates up to 75% of all projects done as the 1.1 trillion shillings project seeks to improve the ever increasing number of clients experience, security and safety as they also comply with the current Covid 19 regulations.
Last year, the aviation body recorded close 1.9 million passengers, up from 118,527 recorded in 1991 as Uganda was rebuilding from a political conflict that saw change of leadership.
The projects, handled by China Communication Construction Company (CCCC) have transcended the construction of a new cargo centre, a new passenger terminal building, strengthening of the airport runways and their associated taxiways, an expanded search park.
It also involves rehabilitating and reconstructing the three aircraft parking aprons.
Currently, works on the two runways and the taxiways are complete. The repairs were undertaken on the badly affected areas on the main runway and a new overlay was done to improve on the structural strength of the pavements.
The second runway was entirely demolished, removing the existing concrete wearing course and a new wearing course of 100 mm in asphalt concrete has been put up.
Vianney Luggya, the Public Affairs manager of the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority says, the works on the main runway were completed just after suspension of commercial passenger flights at the airport during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Luggya says, it seemed difficult to work on the runways at a time when a sizable number of aircrafts were landing or taking off. Entebbe international airport, before the Covid 19 lockdown would have over 50 planes landing and taking off daily.
Works are ongoing to strengthen and expand aircraft parking apron 1 which involves the construction of additional parking space and, the resurfacing of the existing aircraft parking apron. Floodlights and a fuel hydrant system will also be added and the extension of former taxiway Alpha to connect to former taxiway Delta.
The construction works for the new cargo center is also ongoing. The complex is expected to handle cargo volumes of up to 100,000 tonnes every year.
The complex will also have three aerobridges and a new baggage handling system.
The Aviation body projects that work on the cargo center will be 100 percent complete by 2020. Also, the rehabilitation works for Apron 2, resurfacing works for runway 17/35 and its associated taxiways and reconstruction works for Apron 4, mostly used by the United Nations will be completed around the same time.
Last week, the Aviation body Ag Director General Fred Bamwesigye opened part of the first floor of the new passenger terminal building to ensure enough space is accorded to passengers using the airport.
The airport in October recorded up to 42,633 passengers just after the resumption of flights from a six months lockdown as government moved to control the spread of the Covid 19 pandemic.
He said, the remaining works on the upgrade and expansion of Entebbe International Airport are almost done.
“95% of the works for new cargo center’s aircraft parking apron are complete. 93% works for the cargo terminal building are complete while 90% works for the landside and airside access roads have so far been accomplished,” the Ag Director General said.
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