Last year, Entebbe International Airport handled 62,000 metric tonnes of cargo and 1.84 million passengers, nearing its handling capacity of 2 million passengers.
Uganda’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)’s publicist, Vianney Luggya told simpleflying.com the largest source of passenger traffic at the airport is tourism.
He says Uganda has a large gorilla population and it is one of the biggest source of tourist attraction in the country.
Tourism is closely followed by Ugandans leaving for employment abroad – particularly in the Middle East – is also a large factor, as is Chinese business.
However, most Chinese traffic is cargo related. In the last decade, exports from China have flooded the East African market. The highest amount of cargo ever handled by the airport was 69,000 metric tonnes in 2017. This, however, dropped to 62,000 in 2018.
This decline has been attributed to the decrease in UN Operations at the Airport.
Meanwhile international and national conferences add a lot of passenger traffic to Entebbe as well. Conferences include faith groups, meetings between heads of state, and more.
The airport is currently undergoing upgrading and expansion to handle 3.5 million passengers per year.
Luggya also adds that the second runway is at 94% completion.
The airport is also still waiting on a new cargo center that is expected to be ready next year. It will be able to handle 100,000 metric tonnes of cargo. China is the largest source of funding for these works.