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Entebbe Airport Receives High Safety Rating in Recent Audit

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Entebbe Airport's Safety Performance Impresses International Auditors
Entebbe Airport's Safety Performance Impresses International Auditors
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Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) has received a safety oversight audit score of 72.17 percent in a recent assessment conducted by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) earlier this month. This audit aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of Uganda’s safety oversight systems in line with ICAO standards and recommended practices.

While the final report from ICAO is expected in six months, the preliminary findings were disclosed by the State Minister for Transport, Mr. Fred Byamukama, during a briefing in Kampala. According to him, this score places Uganda above the regional average of 55.66 percent for Eastern and Southern Africa and the global average of 67.68 percent.

Mr. Byamukama highlighted that this audit score is a testament to Uganda’s compliance with ICAO standards and boosts confidence in the country’s aviation safety system. The ranking was determined based on the assessment of eight critical elements of the state safety oversight system and compliance with ICAO standards in various areas, including legislation, organization, licensing, flight operations, airworthiness, and aircraft accident investigation, air navigation services, aerodrome, and ground aids.

Although the preliminary report did not provide specific details on each area’s performance, the final report is expected to offer a more comprehensive assessment after six months.

Mr. Byamukama emphasized that Uganda’s lack of significant safety concerns is a positive sign, as such concerns can result in airlines avoiding a country’s airspace. He noted that a failure to pass the audit would have lowered the country’s confidence and reputation.

The successful audit outcome is expected to facilitate national carriers’ entry into international airline alliances and associations, creating more opportunities for licensed operators to expand their businesses.

Mr. Byamukama urged the UCAA and key stakeholders to maintain the momentum and consistency demonstrated during the onsite audit.

While Uganda’s aviation sector received a high score, areas for improvement were identified in ICAO’s corrective action plan. Mr. Fred Bamwesigye, Director General of the UCAA, acknowledged the need for improvement in accident investigations, which scored 19 percent. He emphasized that no country achieves a perfect score, and guidelines provided by ICAO will help address these areas.

ICAO conducts safety audits every six years, with the previous audit in 2014 yielding a score of 62 percent for Uganda.

In addition to the audit results, the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority reported positive trends in passenger and cargo traffic at Entebbe Airport. International passenger numbers and cargo volumes have increased compared to previous years, showcasing the airport’s recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.