Last week the Minister of Transport and Works Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala signed a legal instrument -appointing Mr. Fred Bamwesigye, the substantive Director General of Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA).

The CAA spokesman ,Mr. Vianney Luggya, welcomed the appointment of Bamwesigye saying it would allow continuity especially now that the authority is superintending over numerous mega projects intended to transform Uganda’s aviation industry . CAA is mandated to supervise operations at Entebbe International Airport and a host of other civilian airports and aerodromes, including tourist airfields such as Pakuba in Murchison Falls National Park, and the main airstrip in Kidepo Valley National Park.

But who is the man -Bamwesigye .

Well he has been the acting Director-General of Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) since July 2020.He was appointed as the Authority’s Deputy Director-General on 5th May 2018 and he had previously served as the UCAA Director of Human Resources and Administration from February 2009.

A lawyer by training Bamwesigye is a grounded public servant who worked at National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), and also served as Legal and Human Resource Manager with the National Water and Sewerage Corporation. In fact, he is credited for having been one of the brave men then- who stood firm and fought mafias who wanted to grab the land where the NEMA head-offices were constructed on Jinja road .

For over 10 years serving in senior managerial positions at CAA -it can be said that -Bamwesigye is a top-drawer – experienced aviation management professional with competencies in Senior Civil Aviation Management, managing Aviation Policy and Regulation, Transport Economics, and managing Airport Operations and Air Navigation Services, all attained from the Singapore Aviation Academy.

Coupled with Corporate Management and Quality Assurance – experience spanning well over 25 years its not surprising that the man from Ruhaama in Ntungamo district floored many candidates for the converted position- including madam Olive Lumonya Birungi -a self made brand marketing guru .Mr. Bamwesigye is an Advocate of the High Court of Uganda with a Master of Arts in Development Studies specializing in Human Resources Management from The Hague School of Development Studies in the Netherlands.

Among his other many academic qualifications is a Diploma in Business Management from the University of Manchester, a Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the Law Development Centre, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University.

Bamwesigye led UCAA teams to manage the rampaging covid-19 pandemic -putting in place Standard Operating Procedures (SPOs) at Entebbe International Airport that allowed the airport to operate even though with drastically reduced traffic .

For the time he has been serving in acting capacity ; Bamwesigye led the management team at UCAA to oversee the implementation of the following key milestones -new Electronic Government Procurement system (eGP), which was adopted in November 2020. UCAA is one of the ten pilot entities.

UCAA retained the ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Systems Certification in 2021 following compliance with the stringent requirements of the standard by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). The certification body approved and re-certified UCAA, Entebbe International Airport, and 11 other aerodromes to the ISO 9001:2015 standard in July 2021 for a period of three years up to 2024.

Conclusion of various bilateral Air Service Agreements with various countries bringing the current total to 47 of which 25 are operational. Instrumental in the process for inclusion of the Uganda Airlines Airbus A330-800 neo aircraft fleet on the airline’s Air Operator Certificate.

The attraction of new air operators to Uganda’s airspace; the most recent being Airlink, which commenced flights to South Africa on September 19, 2021, and Air Arabia, which is scheduled to commence flights to Sharjah on October 10, 2021. Badr Aviation is planning to commence direct flights to Khartoum.

Approval of additional Aviation Training Organizations (ATOS), including Bar Aviation Academy, Kubis Aviation Academy and additional training programmes by Morea. The number of Approved ATOs is now stands at eight .

Renewal of Uganda Air Cargo’s Air Operator Certificate and re-activation of the Air Service License (ASL), which permits them to undertake commercial air cargo business.

Uganda was able to compile and submit 100% of the Universal Security Audit Programme Continuous Monitoring Approach (USAP-CMA) Corrective Action Plan to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in November 2020 and ICAO acknowledged with appreciation in February 2021. This is expected to have a positive impact on Uganda’s compliance level.

Provision of necessary support to the Ministry of Works and Transport in the establishment of an Accident and Incident Investigation unit.

One of UCAA’s strategic objectives is to promote the development of an Air Navigation System aligned to the Global Air Navigation Plan (GANP). It is in line with providing airspace users with improved capacity and efficiency. In this respect, the Air Traffic Management system has undergone various system improvements and upgrades as follows;

Air Traffic Management (ATM) has made a transition from conventional navigation using ground aids to the use of satellite-based navigation. Since 2020, arrival and departure procedures in Entebbe are based on the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), which has improved the safety, efficiency, and capacity of the Ugandan airspace.

Due to the ATM improvements above, UCAA has been able to implement free routing airspace within the Entebbe Flight Information Region (on request from IATA). Using this technology, a pilot can safely fly from point to point within the Ugandan airspace without following the published routes.

In relation to upgrading and improvement of Navigation Aids infrastructure and systems,

UCAA adopted a phased approach, which has involved;

Installation of the High Frequency (HF) radio system for the Rescue Coordination Centre at Entebbe International Airport was completed. This facilitates the provision of Search and Rescue Services to aircraft in need of services within the Flight Information Region (FIR).

The Non-Directional Beacon (NDB) at Port Bell, Luzira, has been installed and there is an ongoing project to replace the Distance Measuring Equipment at Entebbe. Upgrade of the Automatic weather observation system is ongoing.

Implementation of the electronic terrain and obstacle data (eTOD) for the area covering the entire territory of Uganda, in line with the requirements of ICAO. This involves the collection of terrain and obstacle data for the entire country. This data is used in various air navigation applications.

Other projects for upgrade and expansion of Entebbe International Airport are being undertaken by China Communications Construction Company.

A firm believer in BUBU ,brings on board the Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC) Kayoola buses

Close associates have also praised Bamwesigye for being among the first senior Ugandan public officials to believe in government’s Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU) policy and for his enthusiasm in promoting Ugandan made products . It is not surprising therefore ,that UCAA under Bamwesigye’s stewardship -was the first Uganda government agency to welcome the Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC)- locally built buses including the Kayoola fully electric buses- the first of a kind to operate on the African continent .

For over a year now- the Kayoola EVS buses and the Kayoola Diesel Coach have been offering shuttle services to UCAA and thus validating Kiira Motors products and green mobility solutions for urban transportation in Uganda , East Africa and the African continent . After the UCAA endorsement , the KMC- Kayoola buses have been taken on by- Uganda’s football governing body -the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) and Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) SC to offer shuttle services for visiting teams including the Mali national team and Ethiopian Coffee SC -causing excitement in the multi-billions sports industry and fraternity .

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