By Our Reporter in Entebbe

The Korean Embassy in Kampala has donated to Uganda Civil Aviation Authority an assortment of  health safety equipment to stem the  spread of COVID -19 at Entebbe International Airport.

The  equipment will come in handy as the UCAA Executives reported a marked  increase in the number of travellers at Entebbe airport -with a total of 100,455 international passengers recorded in October 2021 (45, 799 arrivals and 54,656 departures), with an average of about 3,240 passengers per day.

 Prior to the COVID- 19 pandemic the airport registered 5,000 per day in 2019, and 1,547 per day in 2020. The surge in traffic could be attributed to increased flights to popular destinations like UK and UAE. With introduction of additional operators like Uganda Airlines plying the Dubai route and Air Arabia to UAE.

The new equipment was received on behalf of the UCAA by the authority ‘s Deputy Director General Ms. Olive Birungi Lumonya. She said that the  donated equipment will go a long way in ensuring safety of passengers and front-line airport staff.

“We highly appreciate this gesture and it is important to note that several interventions are being undertaken by the government of Uganda and  implemented by UCAA to provide a conducive environment for the users of Entebbe International Airport,” she added

Lumonya highlighted other measures which have been put in place to safeguard passengers and frontline workers at Entebbe airport from contracting the deadly Covid-19 -which included,Automated sanitizers at various points within the terminal building,social distancing marks on the ground and on passenger waiting seats within the lounges and glass shields at Immigration and check-in counters to avoid direct interface of immigration officers with the passengers.

The Deputy DG said that the  support from Korea will largely complement efforts that are already in place. “The automated temperature scanners will enhance efficiency and effectiveness in expeditious capturing of temperature for arriving and departing passengers,” she said.

Lumonya also noted the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) partnership  with UCAA in 2018 to modernize aeronautical infrastructure in the country. “

There is an on-going automation of systems at Entebbe International Airport as part of a US Dollars 9.5 Million grant from the Government of Korea. A Terminal Operations Control Centre and training facilities have already been erected as part of this project, which has also delivered a Computerized Maintenance Management System and an Air Traffic Message Handling System at Entebbe, Soroti, Kisoro Kasese and Mbarara, among others.”

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