Gen Katumba calls for Investment in Domestic Aviation

Works and Transport Minister, Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala has urged Ugandans and other investors with the financial muscle to invest in domestic aviation because there are vast opportunities untapped. Katumba was on Saturday speaking at the closure of the three-day Uganda Aviation Expo 2023 at Entebbe.

The minister said often “high-end tourists” come to the country and don’t have time to commit to a journey by road to some of the tourism sites upcountry, which they want to visit.  In these circumstances, minister Katumba said those able to provide flights inland would be able to make an earning.

For this, the minister said government recognized the vast potential of tourism to boost Uganda’s economy and this was reason investment was being made repair and maintain existing aerodromes and also construct new ones in different regions of the country.

At the opening of the expo premier Nabbanja disclosed thirteen aerodromes had already been refurbished while another six had been lined for repair. The minister commended the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) and the Uganda Professional Pilots Association (UPPA) for organizing the event that attracted thousands including students and other people of all walks.

He said the organisers had demonstrated that the aviation industry was not out of reach of the ordinary person.

Commenting about eighty-five-year old Alice Nabirye whose grand-daughters brought in a wheel-chair to have a lifetime opportunity to fly, minister Katumba urged all able families with such elderly persons to emulate that example to accord the elderly a memorable event of their lifetime as they will never be able to fully pay them for what those elderly people did, bringing them up.

Responding to CAA director general Fred Bamwesigye and UPPA president Capt Ssentamu Aziz’s proposal that government takes up organization of the aviation expos due to the high cost involved, Katumba promised to consider the issue.

He expressed happiness that similar expos are in the pipeline for upcountry venues in future.  This he said would further drive the point home that aviation is not reserved for the affluent and urban Ugandans. He urged Ugandans especially the young, to consider taking up careers and business in the aviation industry, which he said had vast opportunities.

Over one thousand expo goers had opportunity to fly over Kampala at a fee between 200,000/= and 300,000/= Uganda Shillings per person.

Several people, interestingly including elderly ones took this opportunity to have their maiden flights. Those who could not afford the flights could at least have an opportunity to get near and enter different aircrafts and take selfies and pictures of themselves.

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