Entebbe International Airport will resume operations on October 1 after six months of closure as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) acting director-general Fred Bamwesigye told New Vision Tuesday that the operations will begin in a phased manner with few flights per day and then increase progressively. The first phase will run from October 1 to December, this year.
Bamwesigye said unlike, in the past, each airline will be allowed to operate one flight per day. They are about 15 airlines that land or take off at Entebbe Airport on a daily basis.
“We plan to begin in a phased manner to avoid congestion at the airport. We do not want many flights landing or taking off at the same time. With time, the operations will be increased, with more operations in the second phase starting in January 2021 and later full operations around March 2021,” he said.
He said a tentative flight schedule has already been shared and discussed with air transport operators covering the first phase of resumption of commercial passenger flights.
President Yoweri Museveni announced on Sunday that the country’s international airport and land borders will reopen and resume operations for tourists after more than six months of closure, as part of the measures to fight against the spread of COVID-19.
CAA spokesperson Vianney Luggya said various measures have been put in place, including standard operating procedures that have been harmonised with all key stakeholders to contain the spread of COVID-19.
He said the measures have been drawn up with guidance from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), World Health Organisation and the Civil Aviation Safety & Security Oversight Agency, among others.
Luggya said all arriving passengers shall possess an authentic and valid COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test certificate issued within 72 hours before boarding aircraft in-bound to Uganda.
“The same will apply to departing passengers. In addition, any specific state requirements at the final destination or airport of disembarkation will also be put into consideration,” he said.
For departing passengers, Luggya said they will be required to report to the airport four hours before their flight departure time to cater for additional time that will be spent going through the extra health screening procedures.
“The terminal building has already been marked for the observing of social distancing. Lounge seats have also been marked to create some space between seats, and automated sanitizers installed at various strategic points in the terminal building. Glass shields have been erected at immigration counters and check-in counters to avoid direct interface between airport staff and passengers,” Luggya said.