Uganda’s air transport regulator is seeking 150 billion shillings (about 41 million U.S. dollars) from government to enable it run the aviation industry in accordance to the required international standards during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) in a statement issued here late on Thursday said that during the COVID-19 pandemic, international practice demands that social distancing measures, temperature screening, disinfection of baggage and facilities, rapid testing prior to check-in and disembarkation are all in place to limit the spread of the virus.
It however noted that Entebbe International Airport, which is the country’s main gate way to the world, gets congested during peak hours.
The organization said the money needed over the next one year would be used for terminal modification, acquisition of self-service kiosk for check-in to reduce human interface in the passenger facilitation chain among others.
The statement said UCCA cannot finance the required operations because its income over the last several months has dwindled due to the March 23 closure of the airport to stop the importation of COVID-19 cases.
“This implies that the current financial shortfalls may prevail for the entire financial year 2020/21 yet the airport will be expected to render the same level of service amidst higher international expectations,” UCAA said.
Government has not yet announced when the airport would be opened but it has started easing the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. Public and private transport, shops, restaurants and hotels are all reopened.
Uganda currently has 686 COVID-19 cases, 161 recoveries and no virus related death, according to the ministry of health. Enditem