UCAA carries out full-scale mock drill at Entebbe Airport to test readiness for security threats

UCAA carries out full-scale mock drill at Entebbe Airport to test readiness for security threats
Entebbe International Airport.

The Uganda Civil Aviation Authority has carried out a full-scale exercise to test stakeholders' readiness to respond to a security bomb threat at Entebbe International Airport.

The exercise carried out on Thursday simulated a scenario involving flight No. AF 347, with 40 passengers and three crew on board that notified Air Traffic Control of a bomb threat note discovered by a member of the crew in the aircraft lavatories as the aircraft was taxiing for take-off.

All concerned airport stakeholders, including airline operators, ground handling agents, joint security operatives, United Nations, UCAA staff, health personnel and other government agencies have been involved to test their response in accordance with the security contingency plan.

According to UCAA, the security exercise is a mandatory requirement for international airports of countries of contracting member states of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to test their emergency contingency response plans and evaluate the communication processes, procedures, and methods in working with valued partners, stakeholders and government agencies.

The body responsible for aviation in the country said a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) was issued to operators of commercial flights in and out of Entebbe International Airport alerting them that the exercise would be going on between 2.00 - 4.00 pm.

Such a full-scale security exercise was last conducted at Entebbe International Airport by UCAA on November 4, 2019.

Government last month announced that Entebbe International Airport had  successfully passed a safety audit by  the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and confirmed high level of compliance with international standards.

“At the closing meeting of the audit held on September 18, 2023, ICAO’s lead auditor issued the preliminary results for Uganda with a score of 72.17%. The results indicated an overall improvement in the safety performance of the state of Uganda, ranking the state above the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESAF) region average of 55.66% and global average of 67.68%,” the State Minister for Transport, Fred Byamukama said.

“The audit score is a vote of confidence in Uganda’s aviation safety system, which shows the entire international aviation community that the country complies with ICAO standards.”

The audit conducted by ICAO is one of the most important objective tools for assessing the security system of civil aviation of the state.

 

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