16 April 2019

Uganda: 10-Year-Old Taxis Banned From Entebbe Airport

Vehicles that are more than 10 years old have been banned from operating at Entebbe international airport as airport taxis.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced that the ban takes effect from July 15, 2019. Vianney Luggya, the CAA public affairs manager, says only vehicles manufactured after 2008 will be allowed to operate as airport taxis. According to Luggya, CAA communicated the ban to airport taxi operators in 2018 and they are expected to comply with the directive.

He says they have international targets to meet, and these include the implementation of the carbon offsetting and reduction scheme for international aviation that took effect on January 1, 2019.

This is part of the regulations put in place by the International Air Transport Association as one the ways to reduce carbon emissions at international airports around the world. Currently, Entebbe airport is in scope 1 of carbon emissions, which means there are still directly emitted fuels at the airport. This also involves the ban of fuel operated vehicles at the airport.

Scope 2 emissions are the other emissions related to electricity, heat, and/or steam used on site. Only 40 airports across the world have reached such level with neutral carbon emissions. The decision comes at a time when CAA wants to implement the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) guidelines that require operators not to use aircraft exceeding more than 57,000 tons of carbon emission.

In a bid to meet neutral carbon emission standards, airports also need to reduce emissions from fuels used by ground handling facilities and airport taxi operators.

A typical passenger vehicle emits an average of 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. However, this may vary according to the mileage of a vehicle. This according to Luggya leads to an increase in the amount of carbon emissions produced by Entebbe airport.

Jackson Sserubidde, the chairperson of the Entebbe Airport Taxi Operators has welcomed the ban despite the fact that it will force operators to buy new vehicles. Airport taxi operators with old vehicles have started selling them off at an average price of Shs 7 million. Some of the operators claim that they were not given adequate time for the transition.

"Who will you buy the vehicle in such a short time? We needed more time to handle the issue. Unfortunately, no one can listen," said Kassim Kakuru, one of the airport taxi operators.

Only 8 countries in Africa signed to implement the carbon offsetting and reduction scheme for international aviation protocol of the International Civil Aviation Organization.

They are Burkina Faso, Kenya, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Uganda, Botswana and Zambia. However, only EnfidhaHammamet international airport in Algeria according to the International Civil Aviation Organization is on a steady course to reduce its carbon footprint.

The International Civil Aviation Organization sets standards for subsidiary aviation authorities. In December 2015, government announced that it projects to cut 22% of its emissions to ensure low - carbon growth by 2030.

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