The Uganda Civil Aviation Authority has just announced the date for the next licensing hearing for Thursday, the 05th of July, commencing at 11.30 hrs (a.m.) at the Imperial Royale Hotel in the heart of Kampala. The licensing committee will be hearing a disappointing 8 applications only, one for the renewal of Asante Aviations existing license operating non scheduled passenger and cargo air services with a Cessna 208 Caravan and 7 new applications.
Interesting here is the application by the Kampala Aero Club and Flight Training Centre, in short known as KAFTC for the start of scheduled services within Uganda, proposing to use their C206, C210, C208 Grand Caravan and Twin Otter aircraft, depending on demand. This announcement, now that the public notice has been served for all applications to be known ahead of the meeting for the purpose of filing written objections, has already caused a stir in the market as both the business community but especially the tourism fraternity has renewed hope of being able to fly places by buying a seat rather than having to charter the entire plane.
The remaining 6 new applications include a vague propositions by Skyline Air of Entebbe to provide leasing and / or operate aviation services with ancient AN 17, AN 26, AN 32, IL76 and, better believe that, an equally ancient L1011 aircraft, having aviation analysts in Uganda shake their combined heads. Equally has Almiron Aviation applied for a license to operate non scheduled cargo services, also with an ancient L1011. Phoenix Aviation from Nairobis Wilson airport joins the throng with their application for non scheduled passenger and cargo operations using their fleet of BE20, C550 and MD88 aircraft. The remaining applicants are made up by Aerolink (U) wanting to introduce a C208 Caravan for scheduled and non scheduled charter operations, Khalid Air proposing to use ancient DC9 aircraft, amongst others, for non scheduled passenger and cargo services out of Entebbe and SKA Air and Logistics seeking an air services license to start up with F 28 andF70, amongst other aircraft types, for scheduled and non scheduled passenger and cargo services.
Readers will have noticed that of the 7 new applications several are proposing to use aged and ancient aircraft types, raising the questions just how they will make ends meet financially if granted an ASL and in fact then reaching the stage of attaining an Air Operator Certificate from the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority, for which much more stringent requirements must be met, including financial viability and evidence of sufficient capital to sustain at least a year of operation. That however, with current aviation fuel prices hovering at near record highs, will be a challenges when using aviation stone age fuel guzzlers in an age, when noise and air pollution becomes an ever greater issue for aviation regulators and global watchdog ICAO.
Watch this space and expect a hearing review from the days proceedings in early July.