Members of Parliament on the Committee on Budget want a firm policy position on ground handling services at Entebbe International Airport.
The legislators were on Friday, 20 January 2023 scrutinising a report of the Committee on Physical Infrastructure on the budget framework paper for the works sector for Financial Year 2023/2024.
“We took a decision to revamp Uganda Airlines; we invested in the aeroplanes, but we kept mum on cargo handling services. Some people have been benefiting from it for years. You can’t run a profitable airline without handling services,” Hon Paul Omara (Indep., Otuke County) said.
In response, the Chairperson of the Committee on Physical Infrastructure, Hon David Karubanga said Uganda Airlines was in February 2022 given self-handling rights to manage cargo and it will embark on it as soon as the existing contracts with private air cargo handlers expire.
“We don’t know the terms in the contracts between the existing handling companies and other airlines. That is why they need Shs6.b billion to help them,” Karubanga said.
Since its inception three years ago, Uganda Airlines has outsourced cargo handling services from private service providers.
Hon Fox Odoi Oywelowo (NRM, West Budama North East) decried the delayed completion of construction works of the passenger and cargo terminal buildings.
“We have invested massively in the construction which has been ongoing for the better part of five years…. I can only see a kiosk being built. So when are they going to inaugurate these two terminals?” Fox Odoi said.