Uganda’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has described the allegations raised by former Minister, Capt. Mike Mukula regarding the Authority’s failure to issue his aviation school an Air Operator Licence, as not true.
On Wednesday, Mike Mukula, the proprietor of the Uganda Aviation School (UAS) took to Twitter and announced that he was moving his school to neighbouring Kenya due to what he called frustration by CAA.
“I have finally taken a decision to relocate all our aircrafts to Keny having been frustrated by @UgandaCAA to obtain an AOC, Kenya issued it in one week,” Mukula tweeted.
He said his aviation equipment has been on the ground for over 3 years yet fully maintained and paying parking fees.
Established in 2011, the Uganda Aviation School in Kampala provides training for prospective pilots, cabin crew staff, aviation customer managers and related courses in the aviation industry.
Mukula’s revelation raised dust on social media with many Ugandans criticizing CAA for its red tape.
He said his decision was purely made on the basis of business and the losses he was suffering due to the system failures at CAA.
“I have taken a bussines decision based on simple business sense income versus expenditure, losses. Just imagine I borrowed that money from a bank and I had to pay interest over the last 3 years. I would have collapsed. Aga Khan lost $100m over Air UGANDA,” Mukula tweeted.
But the Civil Aviation Authority says that the claim made by the politician and businessman are not true. The Authority insists that Uganda Aviation School did not apply for the Air Operator Certificate.
An AOC is granted to air operators seeking to conduct commercial air transport operations.
“When AOC applications are received, they are reviewed and only those which comply with the stipulated requirements are granted AOCs on a pass or fail basis,” CAA said in a statement issued Wednesday.
“UAS applied and was granted an Air Services License for aviation training and not for AOC,” the statement added.
They say that UAS’s application was for an aviation training organization and specifically focusing on cabin crew training with the view of later expanding the scope to flight training subject to fulfilment of the set regulations.
According to the CAA, Mukula’s school did not fulfill the cabin crew requirements. They add that the application by UAS “fell short, owing to lack of appropriate aircraft for cabin crew practical demonstrations”.
The Authority insists that as much as it is keen on growing Uganda passenger and cargo traffic, this endeavor should not come at the expense of safety.
In response to the statement issued by CAA, Mukula promised to unveil the details to back his allegations today, Thursday.
Politician and flight Captain, Francis Babu who is also Chancellor for UAS backed Mukula’s claims.
“The wickedness in CAA Air Navigation Directorate is killing the aviation industry in Uganda. All beneficiaries have frustrated operators and the board is using kid gloves. Propaganda from CAA beneficiaries is unacceptable,” Capt Babu tweeted.
He accuses Ugandan institutions of perfecting “bad bureaucracy” because of “ulterior motives”.