State Minister for Transport Aggrey Bagiire has urged the Members of Parliament (MPs) on the Infrastructure Committee to back a proposed amendment of the Civil Aviation Act 2017 CAP354 to foster growth of the aviation industry by enticing more airlines into Uganda.
“The Bill will enable Uganda remain up-to-date with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standard and Recommended Practices (SARPs) and comply with global uniformity for a safe, secure and efficient global travel environment,” Bagiire said.
Bagiire made the comments during a two-day gathering of MPs from the Physical Planning and Infrastructure committee and ministry of Works and Transport to discuss the proposed amendment to the Civil Aviation ACT CAP354 in Entebbe recently.
Bagiire said the Bill seeks at tackle significant challenges that have adversely impacted Uganda’s scores in previous Universal Safety Oversight Audit Program (USOAP) by the International Civil Aviation Organization in their usual security and safety audits.
“Following the 2008 Universal Safety Oversight Audit Program conducted by ICAO in Uganda, a number of gaps in our Primary legislation were identified and a corrective action plan was instituted necessitating amendment of the CAA Act Cap 354,” said Bagiire.
David Kakuba, the Managing Director of the CAA, said the proposed amendment of the CAA Act is one of the action plans that would lend efficiency to the operations of the CAA.
“The amendment will bring uniformity in all the Acts which are needed across all member states of ICAO and address issues of human trafficking and smuggling concerns,” Kakuba said.
Among other proposals, the Bill is looking to empower CAA management and the board to work with some independence to guarantee quick decision-making with regards to safety and security.
The others are: creation of an independent accident investigation unit separate from CAA, which will ensure responsive and coordinated response to aviation accidents and incidents among other things.
The Chairperson of the committee, Lillian Nakatte, said once CAA has autonomy after the laws governing other airports in the world, it will help spark more international traffic and increase the country’s revenue.