ENTEBBE, Uganda (eTN) – Following the repeated power outages at the region’s largest airport in Nairobi news emerged that Entebbe has been suffering from a lack of aviation fuel again last week. While scheduled flights were able to get refueled before leaving for home, airlines flying on the route to Nairobi uplifted added quantities enroute back to Entebbe to pre-empt any possibility of the airport running out of JetA1 altogether.
Ad-hoc flights, however, were advised to either carry enough fuel for their return flight or else land somewhere in the region or en route to their final destination and get fuel from there.
Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) sources confirmed that presently the capacity of the aviation fuel farm in Entebbe is both below desirable quantities, as well as only partly stocked as it is, prompting calls from the transport ministry to quadruple the size of the fuel farm at the airport to pre-empt shortages when the supply chain is interrupted.
Uganda’s aviation fuel comes from the main regional Indian Ocean port of Mombasa and is either pumped to Eldoret’s pipeline fuel depot and trucked to Entebbe or else trucked all the way from the coast, as the capacity of the Kenyan pipeline is said to be severely restricted to meet growing demand.
By early this week, the situation had slightly improved but concerns remain that these recurrent problems have not been resolved over many years now to the satisfaction of the aviation fraternity.
In a related development, AVGAS is also said to be in short supply, and in particular the airlines operating from the Kajjansi airfield outside Kampala are seriously affected by outrageously high charges from Shell, which coupled with frequent shortages continues to affect their charter operations.