JINJA —The Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) has celebrated the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) 75th Anniversary of Connecting the World, in an event held at the Source of the Nile in Jinja.
The event was organised to commemorate ICAO’s 75 years of enhancing global civil aviation, producing global plans to coordinate multilateral strategic progress for safety and air navigation, auditing States’ civil aviation oversight capabilities in areas of safety and security, and connecting the world to sound economic opportunities.
UCAA Director General, Dr. David Kakuba, recalled the establishment of ICAO, following several studies conducted by the United States and its major allies.
He observed that the US Government extended invitations to 55 States to attend the International Aviation Conference in Chicago of which 54 States attended and 52 two out of the 54 States signed the new Convention on International Civil Aviation.
“We join ICAO to celebrate 75 Years of not only connecting the world, but also providing opportunities and stimulating economic growth globally. I consider it a major achievement because it demonstrates Uganda’s determination to join the rest of the world in improving the safety and security standards of its aviation industry as provided by ICAO,” he said.
He added: “ICAO’s core mandate, since establishment, has been to help States achieve the highest possible degree of uniformity in civil aviation regulations, standards, procedures and organization.
Today, he noted the story of ICAO is, in many respect, changing the topography of air transport and its related fields.
UCCA also hosted the ICAO flag at the source of the Nile in Jinja.
Dr. Kakuba said the Source of the Nile was selected to host the ICAO flag for not being an iconic tourism site but also for the fact that the big percentage of air transport users to Uganda are tourists.
He noted that UCAA is commited to partner with Ministry of Tourism in order to enhance tourism in Uganda. He equally lauded government for reviving the national airline, which he noted that ‘it picked up fast. ”
“I urge all of us to support and use Uganda Airlines.”
Minister of works and transport Monica Azuba Ntege in her speech read by State Minister for Cooperatives Frederick Ngobi Gume, re-emphasized ICAO’s significance in enhancing global aviation safety and security by constantly developing technical standards, legal regulations and operating procedures which have been essential to the development of aviation and tourism.
She said that air transport has over the years aided tourism in facilitating safe and quick transportation of people to access Uganda’s beautiful renowned sites including the iconic Source of the Nile.
“The 75 years of connecting the world has been a great milestone for the aviation community. We must reflect on our contributions in making sure air transport is safe, secure, accessible and affordable. Today, I implore us all to not just celebrate the anniversary, but to collectively embrace the opportunity to look back on the principles of ICAO, with a determined mindset, re-strategize and chart the way forward for a better aviation and tourism industries in Uganda,” he said.
She said the that celebrating the global air transport body’s anniversary through ICAO flag at the Source of the Nile further promotes the cardinal and mutually beneficial relations that exist between tourism and the aviation industry in Uganda.
Minister Azuba said in efforts to to enhance connectivity, Uganda signed Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASAs) with Israel, Canada and Switzerland while, at least five BASA’s are projected to be negotiated in 2020.
She revealed that this shows commitment to open new air routes and attract more operators to Uganda’s airspace and facilitate tourism.
Uganda’s earliest recorded commercial operation was around 1929 when the colonial State contracted air operators based in Kenya to deliver mail at Port Bell, on the shores of Lake Victoria.
By independence, Uganda was a member of the East African Directorate of Civil Aviation and an active player of in the growth of industry in the region.
Uganda then became a ICAO member State in 1967.
ICAO is a UN specialized body that came into being as result of the International Aviation Conference held in Chicago in 1944.
As of November 2019, there are 193 ICAO members, consisting of 192 of the 193 UN members (all but Liechtenstein, which lacks an international airport), plus the Cook Islands.