By Andrew Irumba
Entebbe International Airport: Uganda Airlines, the national carrier has embarked on the process of getting own Approved Maintenance Organization (AMO) Certification, from Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) so as to reduce dependence on foreign maintenance contractors-Spy Uganda reports.
It is a regulatory requirement that aircraft are maintained by maintenance organizations approved by Uganda Civil Aviation Authority.
The Approved Maintenance Organisations (AMOs) undergo a thorough five-phase certification approval process to ensure that they meet the required regulatory and international standards in terms of safety, technical proficiency, management policies and airworthiness among others.
According to Jennifer Bamuturaki, the Acting Chief Executive Officer at Uganda Airlines, the AMOs are required to demonstrate the standards and must have at their disposal sufficient materials/spares/parts, tools/equipment, trained, experienced and appropriately qualified technical personnel, self-sufficiency in financial resources, suitable facilities and premises required for the maintenance tasks being undertaken.
Once Maintenance Organisations are certified and approved, they are then subjected to continuous surveillance and annual audits/inspections by the regulatory authorities to ensure that required standards are maintained.
Bamuturaki says Uganda airlines aircraft (Airbus A330-800neo and Bombardier CRJ900) are currently maintained by foreign AMOs approved by the CAA, but this is expensive to maintain compared to self maintenance.
“We are in the process of securing our own AMO certification from Uganda CAA. We have built internal capability and capacity by acquisition of the required tools/equipment, spares, materials and we also have our own Ugandans,who are trained and qualified engineers to the required standards, she said.
She further revealed that the five- phase certification process from Uganda CAA is ongoing and they expect to be certified as a Maintenance Organisation (AMO) by early next year (2022).
Asked how Uganda Airlines will benefit from this certification, Bamuturaki said; “Attainment of this milestone will reduce our dependence on foreign maintenance contractors and result into substantial financial savings, technology and skills transfer to our staff and the local maintenance and Engineering workforce at large.”
she added; “We should be able to build local capacity, support our own Engineers, create more jobs for our unemployed youths, but even reduce on currency export! Do you know we pay in Dollars to foreign contractors? So let’s not just talk about BUBU but walk the tal”