Describing the current set of Entebbe Airport Airline regulations as complex and unfriendly, Airline Operators have tasked Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to formulate new regulations and guidelines that will give them a competitive advantage in the region.
Speaking during the first ever CAA Stakeholders‘Engagement workshop that was held on Friday at the Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala, Captain Mike Mukula a seasoned pilot said that CAA needs to amend the current regulations governing licensing and Air navigation to provide for among others an appeals tribunal where aggrieved Airline operators can have their issues addressed. Captain Mukula also tasked CAA to recruit more flight inspectors so as to end delays subjected to Airline operators.
Mukula also tasked CAA to speed up the service charter formulation which will ease the licensing of Airlines intending to operate at Entebbe International Airport. Mukula said that whereas neighboring Kenya gives a short period regarding licensing of Airlines, Uganda’s Airline licensing period takes a longer period.
I would like to thank CAA for organizing the Stakeholders engagement workshop that has brought together Airline operators and CAA Management. We (Airline Operators) would like Civil Aviation Authority to formulate a new regulatory framework that will among others address key issues including forming an appeals tribunal, shortening the licensing period for Airlines. CAA has to review it’s licensing period because currently it takes four years to have an Airline operator licensed and this has forced potential investors in the Airline business to withdraw. Because of the lengthy licensing process, some of my Aircrafts are grounded at Entebbe International Airport and paying heavy fees and charges, Capt. Mike Mukula disclosed during the workshop.
Small airline operators like Eagle Air called for a level playing field with their counterparts who operate big Airlines regarding routes in the region. Small Airline operators appealed to CAA to defend and promote local Airlines because they are finding it difficult to compete favorably in the region.
The small Airline operators disclosed that they are often treated unfairly by neighboring states like Tanzania and Kenya regarding reciprocity charges. The Airline operators also tasked CAA to have an alternative Airport with lights where Airlines can land in case of emergencies and problems at Entebbe International Airport because in such situations the only option is to land at Airports in neighboring states.
Meanwhile Captain Mike Mukula and Captain Francis Babu utilized the engagement workshop to lambast CAA top managers whom they accused of intentionally frustrating investors in the Air transport business with unnecessary requirements and regulations.
However Henry Kitaka the Manager flight safety standards said that Uganda is subject to International treaties and regulations and compliance is non-negotiable.
CAA Managing Director Rama Makuza Speaks Out.
CAA Managing Director Dr. Rama Makuza hailed all the Airline operators for participating in the engagement workshop adding that it is aimed at enhancing good relations for service improvement. Makuza revealed that CAA Management will draft a service charter with input from all the stakeholders and will be ready in a month’s time. Regarding the regulations that will govern the appeals tribunal, Dr. Makuza disclosed that CAA will work closely with ministry of works and Transport to ensure that the policy is drafted and approved by cabinet.
On his part, CAA Board of Directors Eng. Mike Ndawula assured the Airline operators that the Air service charter will be completed and available on the CAA website. He also revealed that CAA will study the charges and fees at Entebbe International Airport so as to make them competitive. Eng. Ndawula also revealed that CAA will explore the reciprocity charges in comparison with regional players.
Meanwhile works Minister Hon. Monica Ntege lauded CAA for the stakeholders’ engagement workshop and said that through the interactions CAA receives constructive feedback from the stakeholders which helps in improving on the quality of service delivery.