By Billy Rwothungeyo Why do you have to hop out of your car to have a hand metal detector pressed against your body just before entering Entebbe International Airport? Why should you not drive through hustle free straight to the departures gate at Entebbe?
By Billy Rwothungeyo
Why do you have to hop out of your car to have a hand metal detector pressed against your body just before entering Entebbe International Airport? Why should you not drive through hustle free straight to the departures gate at Entebbe?
For visitors, this is somewhat a “deal breaker” as one of the impressions of a country is formed at the way passengers are handled at the airport.
Like the case is at South Africa’s O.R Tambo International Airport, government passengers will no longer have to deal with such inconveniences at Uganda’s only international airport soon.
Works and Transport minister Abraham Byandala recently revealed that a major procurement process for the improvement of the security of this airport is underway.
He said the development is in line with meeting the standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
ICAO last year released a damning report on the Uganda’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) which led to the grounding of Air Uganda and other smaller operators.
So is the airport insecure?
“No, it is secure, but not to the standards,” Byandala told the New Vision on the sidelines of the launch of RwandAir’s inaugural flight from Entebbe to Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
“We do not want people to continue getting out of their cars as they drive to the airport. We are going to install modern searching equipment and you will have to just drive through. Within a year, this airport will be a changed place,” the minister said.
Byandala said that with the improvement of security at the airport, it will be harder for people to use the airport for their dubious activities.
“The lax security at the airport is the reason why people are using this airport to smuggle drugs and other things. It is going to be very difficult for bad elements to use this airport,” he said.
When contacted for a comment on the procurement, Igne Igundura, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)’s public affairs manager declined to comment on the procurement, however, a source says that technical bids are being reviewed.
Security has always been one of the talking points regarding Entebbe International Airport in the recent years.
Last year, the U.S. Embassy in Uganda warned of a "specific threat" at the airport.
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