Uganda’s Kabaale International Airport is set to open in 2023
Construction works on the country’s second international airport is 80% complete.
The opening of Kabaale airport will see an increase in trade and investment opportunities in the oil region. Kabaale International Airport, based at Hoima, started construction in 2018, with SBC Uganda as the contractor. SBC Uganda is a joint venture between Colas Limited and SBI International Holding of Uganda.
The first phase was expected to be completed in April 2022. However, the pandemic pushed back the date of completion. It will now be ready for use by February 2023 as per the Government’s new deadline. An SBC Uganda spokesperson, Amos Muriisa, confirmed the new date. On completion, the first phase will handle cargo planes.
The construction work was reported to be 80% complete at the end of May 2022. The airport will play a major role in the quick movement of oil and gas equipment and will boost the development of an industrial park planned for the region.
The first phase of the Kabaale airport will help import heavy equipment, material and machinery by oil and gas companies, who are currently initializing and developing their projects. Some of the equipment includes field flow pipelines, feeder pipelines, central processing facilities for the fields, as well as for Kabaale industrial park, the East African crude oil pipeline, and will later include the refinery. It will also help with equipment for related industries that will develop as a byproduct of the oil industry.
The second phase of the Kabaale airport project will include an expanded passenger terminal which will provide a tourism boost and help increase the number of passengers passing through the airport.
The runway, which is 3.5 kilometres long and 45 metres wide, is currently 95% complete. The cargo terminal building, limited-capacity passenger terminal building, air rescue firefighting house, power substation house, and the air-ground lighting system are between 78-90% complete.
The airport can currently handle some of the largest cargo planes in the industry, and its apron can host four such aircraft at once. The next stage of construction will include housing for airport operators and the start and finish of the control tower construction.
Muriisa further addressed the gradual unemployment of the Ugandans on the project as it nears completion. He urged them to upskill such that nearby projects can employ them like the oil and gas processing facilities, the East African Oil Pipeline Project, refinery and other industrial park-related activities. Other facilities expected to be constructed nearby are shopping malls, recreational centres, health centres, technical colleges, and accommodation, which can absorb skilled workers from the region.
Top Photo: Ongoing construction at Kabaale International Airport (@MoWT_Uganda Twitter Handle | Ministry of Works & Transport)