UGANDA, Hoima | Real Muloodi News | The completion of Kabalega International Airport, formerly known as Hoima International Airport, in Hoima District, has experienced setbacks, causing the handover to be delayed until October of this year 2023.
The joint venture contractor, comprising Israeli-British firms Shikun & Binui International-SBI/Colas Limited, had originally planned to hand over the airport to the government in June 2023.
However, various factors have contributed to the postponement.
Amos Muriisa, the Communications Manager at Standard Chartered Bank (SBC), said that the handover has been rescheduled to October to allow for the completion of crucial remaining works, such as the construction of the control tower and other necessary operations at the airport.
Currently, the construction progress stands at 91 per cent.
Muriisa cited the outbreak of COVID-19, which forced a halt in operations for several months, as one of the reasons for the delay.
Additionally, the delayed release of funds by the government in February impacted the progress of the works.
After the government failed to allocate over USh126 billion required to complete the remaining tasks, including the control tower, the contractor suspended construction works. Construction resumed in April following a consensus with the government.
Kabalega International Airport, with a budget of USD 309 million financed by SCB, will have the capacity to accommodate four cargo planes simultaneously.
The airport will include various facilities such as a fire station, apron, control tower, accommodation facilities, parallel runways, taxiway, air rescue firefighting house, power substation house, communications and navigation systems, perimeter fence, and air-ground illumination system.
The runway, measuring 3.5 kilometres in length and 45 meters in width, is 99 per cent complete.
The cargo terminal building, limited-capacity passenger terminal building, air rescue firefighting house, power substation house, and air-ground lighting system are between 89 to 90 per cent complete.
The airport is expected to play a crucial role as a key support infrastructure for the upcoming commercial oil production activities.
Construction at the site began in April 2018. In a recent cabinet decision, Hoima or Kabaale International Airport was renamed Kabalega International Airport, honouring Omukama (King) Kabalega, as requested by the people of Bunyoro.
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