Uganda: Entebbe Airport Passes Icao Safety Audit

28 September 2023

Uganda's Entebbe International Airport has successfully passed a safety audit by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and confirmed high level of compliance with international standards.

The Minister of State for Transport, Fred Byamukama confirmed the development on Thursday.

"At the closing meeting of the audit held on September 18, 2023, ICAO's lead auditor issued the preliminary results for Uganda with a score of 72.17%. The results indicated an overall improvement in the safety performance of the state of Uganda, ranking the state above the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESAF) region average of 55.66% and global average of 67.68%," Byamukama said.

"The audit score is a vote of confidence in Uganda's aviation safety system, which shows the entire international aviation community that the country complies with ICAO standards."

The audit conducted by ICAO is one of the most important objective tools for assessing the security system of civil aviation of the state.

Low assessment on the results of the ICAO audit may lead to serious negative consequences such as restrictions on flights by other countries.

The aviation security audit is a comprehensive check on the airport security system

Minister Byamukama on Thursday said the audit team appreciated the good work done by the regulator in the certification process of Entebbe International Airport and re-certification of Uganda Airlines, among others .

He urged Uganda Civil Aviation Authority and industry stakeholders to maintain the momentum that was exhibited during the on-site audit with intent to retain the consistency in the oversight responsibilities, to ensure a robust state oversight system in the country.

The minister however noted that the ICAO auditors' results are preliminary with final results to be released after six months of the audit.

" The final report with details will be issued by ICAO after six months but industry practice is that the final results do not usually deviate a lot from the preliminary results."

Previous results

Previously, the last safety audit on Uganda was done in 2014 by the ICAO Coordinated Validation Mission (ICVM) and the country scored 61.64%.

The difference between an ICVM and the recent audit conducted on Uganda is that the objective of the ICVM is to assess and validate the rate of implementation of corrective actions taken in relation to a previous audit while the USOAP-CMA is a full safety oversight audit.

Prior to this, the other most recent audit conducted by ICAO on Uganda was the Universal Security Audit Programme (USAP) in which the country scored 81.8% in 2017, and that was well above the then global average of 72%.

Back then, that score earned Uganda special recognition at the 2019 ICAO General Assembly in Montreal, Canada with award of an ICAO President's Certificate in recognition of the excellent performance. The security audit is totally different from a safety audit.

According to the State Minister for Transport, the above record in both audits is testimony of Uganda's commitment to "upholding the highest standards of safety and security in the aviation industry."

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