Cabinet on Monday approved government’s proposal to take over ownership and management of the East African Civil Aviation Academy (EACAA) in Soroti.
Since the collapse of the East African Community (EAC) in 1977, the EACAA went on a standstill due to lack of funds. This forced each member state Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya to fund only the entities of this academy that are located within their territories.
Tanzania remained with the School of Communication, Kenya retained the school that trains maintenance engineers while Uganda retained the school for training aviation pilots.
Since then, Tanzania and Kenya have developed their own schools of aviation, which made it very hard to solicit funds for the EACAA.
According to government spokesman Ofwono Opondo, when the EAC was revived, the government of Uganda proposed that the School of Aviation in Soroti be part of the infrastructures that Uganda contributes to the new EAC. However, since that time, no EAC government has been able to contribute money or policies towards its running and management.
In an interview at Uganda Media Centre on Tuesday, Ofwono said consequently, the government of Uganda has been shouldering the burden of this school alone without any legal framework.
“Currently, this school has been supported by funds from donations and government grants, but it was not in the budget of the nation because it was an entity for EAC,” said Ofwono.
The government mouthpiece said Kampala has since realized that the other countries have shown no interest in jointly owning the aviation school in Soroti so they decided to take it.
He added, “This is the reason has to why Uganda has now moved formerly legally to take over the management of this school.”
When asked why government has taken this decision Opondo said “Taking over this school government has; to train commercial pilots and aircraft maintenance engineers for the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Force (UPDF), Uganda Police Airwing, the executive (for the presidential jet), commercial and general aviation as well as looking into the newly revived Uganda Airlines.”
To maximize the benefits from the investments made by the government of Uganda as at the collapse of the EAC of 1977 and lastly to save the country’s foreign exchange which has been going on since Uganda’s commercial pilot have been training and maintenance engineers are being trained outside Uganda. To strengthen the Civil Aviation Authority as well as promote this school as a Uganda’s centre of Excellence in Aviation.
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