East Africa’s airports must continuously enhance the capacity of their existing infrastructure to be able to cope with future aviation demands, Uganda’s Minister for Works and Transport, Aggrey Bagiire has said.
The remarks were made on his behalf by Mr. Winstone Katushabe, the country’s Commissioner for Transport Regulation and Safety at the 43rd East African Community (EAC) Consultative Meeting of Facilitation of Air Transport held in Uganda this week.
He stated that airports must meet international requirements to contend with ever-changing threats against civil aviation. Katushabe added that air transport plays an integral role in promoting trade, tourism and economic growth across the region.
His sentiments come barely a week after Transport Minister Bagiire noted that Africa’s aviation industry employs 6.8 million people across the continent. In 2016 alone, the sector generated $72.5 billion in gross domestic product (GDP) contribution to Africa’s economies.
The Meeting determined that infrastructure, safety, security and environmental concerns require a consultative approach.
Uganda’s Civil Aviation Authority, a state-owned air transport regulator, revealed earlier this month that the country expects an increase in passenger traffic. The Authority’s Managing Director, David Kakuba, said the country’s government is looking to expand Uganda’s Entebbe International Airport.
Meanwhile, Kenya has embarked on an expansion project for its own Malindi Airport, which is aimed at elevating the airfield to international standards. Both countries are banking on increased air traffic and higher tourism numbers in the coming months.