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PROFILE: Who is Fred Bamwesigye, the new civil aviation Director-General?

Mr. Fred Bamwesigye has been appointed the new Uganda Civil Aviation Authority Director General (PHOTO /Courtesy).

Transport Minister, Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala has appointed Mr. Fred Bamwesigye, the new substantive Director-General of Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA).

Mr. Vianney Luggya, a spokesperson of UCAA on Friday morning confirmed Mr. Bamwesigye’s appointment at the country’s aviation regulator—which manages 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.

According to a September, 28 appointment instrument by the Works and Transport Minister, Bamwesigye officially starts work today, October 2021.

“In accordance with part IV, section 14(1) of the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority Act cap354, I hereby appoint you as Director-General, Uganda Civil Aviation Authority,” the instrument reads in part.

Mr. Bamwesigye has served as the Ag. 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. Prior to that, he served as the UCAA Director of Human Resources and Administration from February 2009.

Before joining the Authority, he worked with the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), and also served as Legal and Human Resource Manager with the National Water and Sewerage Corporation.

He is an 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.

His experience in corporate Management and quality Assurance spans over 25 years of service. 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.

He also holds 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.

He has been instrumental in overseeing the implementation of COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures at Entebbe International Airport, and ensuring Business Continuity in steering the Authority through a difficult time when the aviation industry has been adversely affected by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which impacted UCAA revenues yet the Authority was expected to provide the same high level of services to all air transport users.

Over the years, he has served the Authority in various capacities. In the last year when he has been serving as Acting DG, Mr. Bamwesigye has been instrumental in overseeing the following;

Implementation of the new Electronic Government Procurement system (eGP), which went live in November 2020. UCAA was 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 8.

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.

The projects for upgrade and expansion of Entebbe International Airport (undertaken by China Communications Construction Company) are currently at the following levels of implementation

Overall Physical Progress                                                                                75.11%

Specific Work Progress

Description Of Work Physical Progress
New Cargo Center Complex0.9743
Additional Works On Cargo building and Changes 0.325
New Passenger Terminal Complex0
Strengthening Of Runway 17/35 And Its Associated Taxiways1
Strengthening and Expansion Of Aircraft Parking Apron 10.847
Rehabilitation of Aircraft Parking Apron 20.992
Rehabilitation of Aircraft Parking Apron 41
Strengthening of Runway 12/30 and Its Associated Taxiways1
Domestic Water Tank & Fire Water Tank and Associated Facilities0.869
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