Single African Air Transport Market is the way to go – Aviation Stakeholders

Some of the stake holders who participated in the engagement held at Mestil Hotel Kampala this week

Some of the stakeholders who participated in the engagement held at Mestil Hotel Kampala this week

Stakeholders in the Aviation business in Uganda and across Africa have expressed the need to have all countries on the continent join together in a Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM)

SAATM is a flagship project of the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063 with a view of creating a single unified air transport market to advance the liberalization of civil Aviation in Africa.

In a consultative stakeholder’s workshop held at Mestil Hotel in Kampala, Hon Fred Byamukama the state minister for works expressed Uganda’s readiness to join the …citing a number of advantages

“Air is the fastest means of transport which that drives economic and social development through connecting people, countries, culture, providing access to international markets and regulating trade and tourism opportunities.”

“Our government will ensure that Uganda’s Air leads by making her most connected countries in the world in order to compete successfully for economic growth opportunities.” Said Byamukama

He further added that Government has exhibited a strong commitment to developing the Aviation sector through the improvement of structures like the construction of Kabalega International Airport, and the maintenance of Soroti Flying School among others.

Captain Gilbert Kibe the former head of Kenya’s Aviation Authority and an official from the Civil Aviation Commission noted that the domestication of flights will increase the number of flights on top of easing business by reducing on operational costs.

Commissioner Winston Katushabe representing the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Works revealed that the major reasons for the  workshop were to  discuss the National Civil Aviation policy, Air transport fares in and out of Entebbe Airport, and SAATM matters

“The comprehensive National Civil Aviation policy will be a valuable reference point to the government of Uganda when making decisions on civil Aviation matters. We reiterate the commitment of the government to develop the civil Aviation industry, I call upon all participants to continue supporting our National carrier (Uganda Airlines) because its success will result in a positive spillover effect in the Aviation industry and the economy at large.”

He further added that the Ministry will refine the National Civil Aviation Policy after receiving input from all participants and later it will be presented to the cabinet.

Mrs. Olivia Birungi Lumonya, the Deputy Director General of Uganda Civil Aviation Authority noted that once the Agreement once is signed by all countries we shall be able to reduce on money spent by an individual on traveling thus increasing traffic

“Flying is more efficient, faster, and quicker but it’s not being utilized as much as possible because of the high cost of travel. If it’s signed then Uganda will be joining the rest of the countries in Africa (over 40 African countries) it’s intended to increase traffic, reduce the cost of travel and increase business.”

On the country’s Aviation performance, Lumonya said that Uganda like any other country in the world lost revenue due to the effects of Covid 19 but currently recovering.

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