The former MP and minister has threatened to expose the aviation authority and says he had never applied for the certificate after all.
On Wednesday, the NRM vice chairperson for Eastern Uganda, Capt. Mike Mukula, announced via Twitter that he had relocated his aviation training school to Kenya, claiming that the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has for the last three years refused to grant him an operational licence.
“I have finally taken a decision to relocate all our aircrafts to Kenya, having been frustrated by Uganda Civil Aviation Authority to obtain an Air Operators Certificate (AOC). Kenya issued it in one week. This equipment has been on the ground for over 3 years fully maintained and paying parking fees,” Mukula wrote.
An AOC is the approval granted by the aviation authority to an aircraft operator to allow it to use aircraft for commercial purposes. This requires the operator to have personnel, assets and a system in place, to ensure the safety of its employees and the general public.
Mukula also threatened to expose the aviation authority after it denied his claims and stated that he had never applied for the certificate after all.
“We will issue a compressive and documented response tomorrow as you have chosen to mislead the country and sweep the dirt under the carpet. Watch this space,” he tweeted.
In a statement issued Wednesday, CAA officials hit back at Mukula saying that they have never received any application for an AOC from him.
“Civil Aviation would like to clarify Uganda Aviation School (UAS) owned by Hon. Mike Mukula did not apply for an Air Operator Certificate (AOC). When AOC applications are received, they are reviewed and only those which comply with the stipulated regulations are granted AOCs on a pass or fail basis.
Uganda Aviation School applied and was granted an Air Services Licence (ASL) for aviation training and not for AOC. A copy of this application and license are available,” said the authority’s public relations manager, Vianney Luggya.
According to CAA, an AOC is only granted to air operators seeking to conduct commercial air transport operations and not training.
The Uganda Aviation School application was for an aviation training organisation specifically focusing on cabin crew training, with a view of later expanding the scope to flight training, subject to fulfilment of the set regulations.
“UAS did not fulfil the cabin crew requirement because cabin crew training is air operator based (practical not just theoretical) The UAS application fell short, owing to lack appropriate aircraft for cabin crew practical demonstrations,” read the statement.
Former minister of state for housing, flight Capt. Francis Babu, said that the “wickedness” in the CAA air navigation directorate is killing the aviation industry in Uganda.
“All beneficiaries have frustrated operators and the board is using kid gloves. Propaganda from Civil Aviation Authority beneficiaries is unacceptable,” he said.