The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) will next year audit Uganda in regards compliance with international air standards, the Works and Transport Minister, Gen Katumba Wamala has said.
“All industry players must adequately prepare for is the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Universal Security Oversight Audit program – Continuous Monitoring Approach (ICAO USOAP-CMA) scheduled for September 2023. We need concerted efforts in readiness for this major audit of Uganda’s aviation safety systems. It will later on be followed with the ICAO Universal Security Audit Program (USAP) in 2024,” Gen Katumba said on Wednesday.
He was speaking to aviation stakeholders during a breakfast meeting organized by the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority to climax the aviation week organized at Serena Hotel Kampala.
The Works and Transport Minister said the two audits are key in shaping the future of Uganda’s aviation industry and urged all stakeholders to take them seriously and adequately.
“I take this opportunity to remind you all that the audit is not necessarily on UCAA, but on Uganda’s aviation industry. Besides, UCAA, the ICAO auditors also visit airlines, among others and the industry collectively shares in the successes and failures.”
Gen Wamala emphasized that the audit is not specifically targeting the Civil Aviation Authority but rather many other things in regards the country’s aviation industry.
“They look out for the airport is run, what are the safety measures put in place for example, can someone smuggle a bag with arms at the airport and many others. They also check on the airlines and can choose on any of them to check out if it is operating in accordance with the law, does it have organizational capacity, does it maintain its aircraft well, does it take into account safety of their passengers and many others. If they for example find an airline at fault, the scores of the country go down and if this happens, some of the airlines may not come to operate in Uganda. This would mean we will lose out on revenue and image of the country damaged.”
The minister however noted that it is high time all stakeholders worked towards ensuring that the country scores highly during the audit as this would benefit everyone.
Speaking at the same function, the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority Director General, Fred Bamwesigye said they have always been ready for the audit.
“This audit is prepared every day. Whenever we finish one audit, we start preparing for another. The observations are developed into an action plan for what has been seen as needing improvement. For example right now, the facilities you see (at Entebbe Airport) are as a result of responses to earlier audits. It is an ongoing process and not that we sit and wait for ICAO to come. Every day is one for preparations and simulating our programs in our own facilities and those of operators,”Bamwesigye said.
The development comes on the backdrop of mock drills by Uganda Civil Aviation Authority in a bid to test the efficacy of different agencies while responding to emergency situation at Entebbe International Airport.