Stakeholders call for gov't action to boost Uganda's aviation industry

Stakeholders call for gov't action to boost Uganda's aviation industry
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At a recent stakeholder breakfast meeting in Kampala, industry leaders emphasized the need for the Ugandan government to foster a conducive atmosphere for aviation investment.

Calls were made for the reduction of taxes, increased infrastructure investment, and other measures to develop the aviation sector in Uganda.

The meeting, organized by the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA), brought together key players to discuss the current state of the industry.

Fred Bamwesigye, the UCAA Director General, highlighted the significance of aviation for national development.

"Aviation plays a crucial role in propelling the development of countries by promoting connectivity, tourism, and the movement of factors of production. However, African nations contribute only a paltry 2.1% of global air traffic, and concerted efforts are needed to elevate the industry," Bamwesigye said.

The breakfast meeting provided a platform for stakeholders to reflect on the sector's performance, with Gen Fred Bamwesigye outlining key milestones achieved.

Despite global challenges, the sector has shown signs of recovery, reaching pre-pandemic levels in terms of cargo and passenger traffic in Uganda.

Barry A Kashamabo, an aviation consultant, emphasized the importance of addressing key concerns.

"While there is a global recovery in the aviation sector, there are still specific concerns that need attention. The industry should focus on overcoming challenges to ensure sustained growth and development."

Uganda recently underwent a Universal Safety Oversight Audit by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), scoring 72.17%.

However, Transport and Works Minister Gen Edward Katumba Wamala expressed dissatisfaction, stating that  improvement is necessary.

"Scoring 72.17% in the audit is not good enough. We must strive for continuous improvement to ensure the highest safety standards in the aviation sector."

Low passenger numbers have constrained domestic air operators, mainly due to high rates for flying to various tourism sites.

Derek Nseko, CEO of Airspace Africa, highlighted these challenges during the meeting.

"Low passenger numbers, coupled with high rates, have been a significant constraint for domestic air operators flying to various tourism sites."

As Uganda commemorates International Aviation Day on December 7th, there are renewed calls for the creation of an independent Ports Authority.

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