Dense fog disrupts flight operations in Entebbe, road transport in Kampala

Dense fog disrupts flight operations in Entebbe, road transport in Kampala
Qatar Airways flight taking off to Doha was delayed for about 40 minutes because of the fog at Entebbe International Airport.

Kampala, Uganda | URN | Visibility at Entebbe International Airport on Friday 26, February 2021 morning was affected as dense fog persisted in some parts of Entebbe and Kampala.

From 6:00 am to about 10:00 am, several aircrafts at Entebbe International Airport had to change either the direction of landing or wait a little longer for the situation to improve.

According to sources at the airport, both takeoff and landing times were affected. “The most used direction for landing which is the North is still poor, so they have resorted to the alternative landing route which is the South,” a source at the airport said.

Vianney Luggya, the Civil Aviation Authority [CAA] spokesperson says that a Qatar Airways flight that was taking off to Doha delayed for about 40 minutes because of the fog. But he added there was no significant impact on the operations of the airport because the phenomenon of poor visibility is not new.

“It is only one airline that may have been affected by the fog with a departure delay of about 40 minutes this morning [Friday 26th, February 2021]. It normally happens around this time of the year, and there is a comprehensive procedure in place to mitigate the situation. Among the options to consider is if one runway isn’t visible, the alternate runway can be considered,” Luggya said.

He added that in extremely low visibility conditions, the Marine and Fire Fighting team is put on emergency alert. According to Mr Luggya, aircrafts are generally guided by their Instrument Landing Systems.

Festus Luboyera, the Executive Director of Uganda National Meteorological Authority [UNMA] says that dense fog has affected operations for a few months.

Mr Luboyera says that this being a rainy season, there is a lot of moisture which gives an opportunity for the dense fog to form because of the condensation of the warm moist air mass.

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Visibility on several roads across the city centre and parts of Entebbe was also affected, leading to increased congestion on the roads. According to the Uganda Professional Drivers Network, an umbrella NGO for drivers associations, the fog slowed down traffic, and in some cases led to accidents.

Ndugu Omongo, the Executive Director of the network says that drivers need to be careful while driving, and they should make use of the fog and hazard lights and fog lights if they have but also drive slow. Mr Omongo says that putting on the hazardous lights enable other drivers to see you but also is your own protection during fog.

He says that in the Ugandan situation, no one talks about fog, and in the curriculum of the drivers, fog specifically is not talked about a lot since it comes once in a while.