UCAA carries out Partial Emergency Exercise

The Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) successfully conducted a mandatory partial emergency exercise that aimed at testing Entebbe International Airport’s readiness in case of an emergency.

The 2-hour duration exercise that was held at Entebbe International Airport on Friday, 14th June simulated a situation in which an aircraft crashed immediately after takeoff and one of its engines caught fire on the threshold of the runway.

According to the Entebbe International Airport’s general manager Emmanuel Barungi, out of the 100 passengers on board, 25 were presumed dead and 15 passengers were critically injured which sparked an emergency situation involving airport firefighters and other rescue agencies that were called in to save lives.

“The exercise helped us to test emergency plans and procedures, communication framework, response times, and coordination abilities of the participants,” he said.

Barungi also remarked that no passenger missed his/her flight because they had passed on alerts for the exercise earlier saying that they always alert airport users to avoid inconveniences as well as scaring them.

Mr. Fred Bamwesigye, the UCAA director general noted that the exercise is a mandatory requirement for international Airports of countries that are contracting member States of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

The general manager Entebbe International Airport, Mr. Emmanuel Barungi (left), Mr. Fred Bamwesigye the UCAA’s director general (middle), and Mr. Vianney Luggya the CAA spokesperson during the media briefing after the emergency exercise at Entebbe International Airport.

He therefore appreciated all stakeholders who joined them by participating in the partial exercise, including medics from various hospitals, Uganda Red Cross Society, Police Medical Services, Uganda Peoples Defence Air Force (UPDAF), Aviation Police, Entebbe Police Fire Brigade, national security agencies, Uganda Airlines, ground handling agents, volunteers who acted as injured passengers, and UCAA staff, among others.

“The last partial emergency exercise was held in December 2020, and the full-scale emergency exercise in November 2022”, he highlighted.

In other developments, the director general said that there is a positive surge in passenger traffic and aircraft movements at Entebbe International Airport.

“In May 2024, Entebbe Airport facilitated 92,298 arrivals and 89,036 departures, a total of 181,334 international passengers, which is an average of 5, 849. This comes on the heels of a daily average of 5,313 in April 2024, 5,548 in March 2024, 6,116 in February 2024, and 6,329 in January 2024. A comparison of May 2024, to May 2023 traffic shows that the Airport facilitated 28,324 more passengers in May 2024 than in the same period of May 2023,” Mr Bamwesigye said.

On record, by the end of 2023, Entebbe International Airport recorded 1.93 million international passengers compared to 1.57 million passengers in 2022. With cargo, imports were 2,442 metric tons, and exports were 4,010 metric tons in May 2024.

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