The upcoming aviation expo will help demystify air transport among members of the public but also showcase the latest technology, organisers have said.
Addressing journalists on Wednesday at Entebbe International Airport, the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority(UCAA) Director General, Fred Bamwesigye said there are many myths by members of the public about air transport but said these need to rectified.
“Many first-time passengers of air transport always panic at the airport. This is because they have never experienced what happens. The aviation expo is an opportunity to further demystify the seemingly complex industry. This is an attempt to try and get the public to remove the belief and fear that flying is for a few,” Bamwesigye said.
He said whereas flying seems to be a preserve of the rich, it is high time this phobia is dealt with by introducing members of the public to the workings of not only the industry but also the airport.
“During this aviation expo, members of the public will have a chance to enter an aircraft view the cockpit, talk to members of cabin and flight crew to get deeper first-hand knowledge of air transport sector
According to Capt. Aziz Ssentamu, the president of the Uganda Professional Pilots Association, the June 22- 24 expo will allow students and members of the public get information about the happenings in the aviation sector.
” Government has invested heavily in industry but the lay person is green about what is happening. We thought it would be important to sensitize public about what happens and in case if you want to join, you know what to do. People are green about the aviation industry and what happens there but this is an opportunity to even get information on how to join aviation,”Capt.Ssentamu said.
He said whereas there are many opportunities in the aviation industry, piloting is what is mostly mentioned but said the expo is another opportunity for everyone, including students to know they can choose various careers in aviation apart from being pilots.
To this, organiser say they have partnered with Ethiopian Airlines, to market the aviation university as an opportunity for members of the public to know how to join the industry, adding that they will invite all operators in the industry to exhibit.
“We also want to create awareness to the public about the evolution of technology in the aviation sector not only in Uganda but world over. This will be an opportunity for everyone to see what is new in the aviation sector.”
According to the president of the Uganda Professional Pilots Association, the aviation expo will be yet another opportunity to lure the private sector to invest in the country’s aviation sector.
“We want to use this expo to open the minds of business personnel on investing in the aviation industry.”
Organisers said the aviation show will also feature aerobatics by the UPDF Air Force, the Special Forces Command and the Police air wing among others as well as joyrides flying around Kampala.
Previously, Uganda hosted its first ever air show in 2012 as the country celebrated its 50th independence anniversary whereas there have also been mini airshows at Mbarara and Kajjansi airfields.
The airshow will be held at the Old Entebbe airport
According to the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority Director General, the airshow comes at a time when the aviation industry is slowly recovering from the effects of the Covid pandemic.
In April 2023, Entebbe International Airport recorded 127,282 passengers including 62,413 arrivals and 64,870 departures , an average of 4242 per day compared to 122,341 in the same period in 2022 , an average of 4,078 per day.