The ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) vice chairperson for eastern Uganda, Mike Mukula, on Wednesday said that he had relocated his aviation training school to Kenya, accusing the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of frustrating him and not giving him an Air Operator Certificate (AOC).
Mukula claimed that CAA had for the last three years refused to grant his Uganda Aviation School (UAS) AOC yet Kenya had processed one for him in just one week.
“I have finally taken a decision to relocate all our aircrafts to Kenya having been frustrated by Uganda CAA to obtain an AOC. Kenya issued it in one week. This equipment has been on the ground for over 3 years; fully maintained and paying parking fees,” Capt Mukula tweeted on Wednesday. \
However, just hours after his announcement, CAA said Mukula’s aviation school did not apply for an AOC.
“When AOC applications are received, they are reviewed and only those which comply with stipulated regulations are granted. Uganda Aviation School applied and was granted an Air Services Licence (ASL) for Aviation Training not for an AOC,” said Mr Vianney Luggya, the Principal Public Affairs Officer at the Civil Aviation Authority.
An AOC is granted to air operators seeking to conduct commercial operations as opposed to training.
Mr Luggya further noted that the Uganda Aviation School application was for an Aviation Training Organisation (ATO) and was specifically focusing on cabin crew training with a view of later expanding the scope to flight training, subject to fulfilment of the regulations.
“The school could not fully satisfy the cabin crew (ATO) requirements because cabin crew training is air operator based (practical not just theoretical). The ATO application did not have an appropriate aircraft for cabin crew practical demonstration,” he added.
While appearing before Parliaments Committee on Physical Infrastructure, which was scrutinizing the proposed amendment of the Civil Aviation Authority Act in February this year, Capt Mukula recommended major reforms in the aviation sector, which include the splitting the Civil Aviation Authority to create a separate autonomous body to manage all public airports and airfields in the country for more efficient management of the aviation sector