Aviation is a notable factor in the tourism sector and world travelers including those on safaris to Uganda find it critical while choosing the destination to visit. Many of the frequent travelers in Uganda including the workers of International relief agencies and Non-Governmental Organization have found it ideal to use the air travel to connect to distant destinations especially the north of Uganda where they have been operating for long.
domestic flights are continually being preferred citing their
contribution to the cost reduction in terms of time and the money spent.
Even for the Uganda safari
undertakers have found it ideal to save themselves long drives and long
hours of transfers. For example a flight to Moroto would take one hour
while by road; it would take the whole day in addition to the drivers
allowance, the tear and wear of the vehicle and the fuel costs.
Considering the fact that the count of African elites have been rising
overtime including Ugandans not forgetting the Oil discovery, the use of
domestic air transport cannot be avoided. It can be noted that Arua
Airstrip was able to handle 15,000 passengers in the year 2014 and this
was followed by Kasese that handled 12,000 passengers some of which
included those on safaris in Uganda.
The Uganda Civil Aviation Authority Public Affairs Manager Ignie
Igundura notes that the domestic passengers are anticipated to rise to
60,000 by the year 2018 and 152,000 in the year 2023. The movement of
domestic air-crafts are anticipated to rise to 6,300 in the year 2018
and 11,600 in the year 2023. The Entebbe International Airport expansion
that was launched on 29th August 2015 intends to accommodate the
anticipated traffic increase ahead of the oil industry while the
engineering and master plan works for Gulu and Kasese are complete while
Mbarara is undergoing simple upgrading including the fencing of
aerodrome to improve safety.
Uganda features a range of domestic
careers including the Aerolink, MAF, Africa Safari Air, Asante aviation,
United Airlines, Transafrik Uganda, Eagle Air Uganda along with Uganda
Air Cargo. These carriers feature clear safety record since the Civil
Aviation Authority trusts that safety and security are the cores of the
successful global aviation industry. Uganda is thus investing heavily in
personnel skilling, equipment procurement along with plant to prepare
for the regular audits in those two fields.
The International Air
Transport Association Reports indicate that Africa’s passenger growth
will rise to surpass over other continents in the world in the 20 years
to come as a result of population growth and that that considerable part
of this travel will be within Africa. The destination Uganda was able
to get 22,789 passengers in the year 2014 rising from the 2012 figure of
13,780. The Eagle Air which is registered locally in Uganda took the
great share of domestic passengers in the year 2014 at 14,850
The Uganda’s Civil Aviation is extending the incentives
to encourage the domestic aviation including the 100% discount on the
aeronautical charges for 1 flight out of 7 frequencies in a week in/out
of Entebbe International Airport on a given sector for the domestic
operators that are scheduled. A 2% discount on aeronautical charges for
carriers that take 20% of the total year traffic is also extended. In
addition, a 2.5% discount is extended to the scheduled and the
non-scheduled local carriers spreading over 10 years regarding the
aircraft acquisition on terms that the equipment be registered and used
in Uganda along with $300,000 minimum capital investment. An equivalent
of 10% of the cost of capital investment cost stretched over 10 years is
extended as rebates on the rates of land lease and the fees for
concession for the infrastructure of aviation carried out in Uganda. The
government is also undertaking the upgrading of aerodromes to the level
of Airports. All these efforts are intended to the see the development
of domestic aviation spur and ease the air travel even for those on Uganda tours.