By Taddeo Bwambale
The performance of the aviation industry has improved significantly, with the number of international and domestic flight passengers reaching over one million.
A performance report of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) shows that the number of international passengers grew from 964,274 in 2012/2013 to 1,025,391 in 2013/2014.
The number of domestic passengers almost doubled from 13,464 to 21,448 over the same period, presenting a significant growth in air transport.
The CAA Managing Director, Dr Rama Makuza attributed the performance to the rise in the number of aircraft operated by airlines.
“Some airlines operated bigger aircraft than budgeted, attracting higher aviation charges,” Makuza said at the 9th Joint Transport Sector Review Meeting at Hotel Africana on Thursday.
He also attributed the rise in revenue to interest on investments, citing fixed deposits that matured during the period. Another key source of revenue was interest charged on debts.
As a result, revenue performance grew from sh36b to sh54b between the first quarter (July-September 2013) and the second quarter (October-December 2013).
The report shows that commercial aircraft movements grew from 22,370 to 23,091 while over flights (transiting flights over territory of a foreign country) rose from 10,502 and 10,438.
CAA owns and manages 13 other national airports which include Arua, Gulu, Kasese, Kisoro, Jinja, Kidepo, Lira, Pakuba, Tororo, Masindi, Mbarara and Moroto.
Under a 20-year Masterplan, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) plans to expand Entebbe Airport by building a new terminal, airplane maintenance hangers, a second parallel runway and taxi ways.
Makuza, however, warned that plans for a $300m expansion of Entebbe Airport were being curtailed by inadequate land and encroachment on its land in Entebbe.