Why Did Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) Ban All Airport Staffs From Using Their Mobile Phones At Work ?

After various Social Media criticizm, the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority has banned all airport staff from using their mobile phones at work , which can be seen as a way to combat corruption, extortion and misconduct against travellers.

As mentioned, this follows reports that went viral on social media platforms of excessively increased corruption, and extortion against travellers, some of whom have been forced to miss their flights or part with money and property.

Apart from this ban , various other measures have been issued on Friday, January 20, 2023, not only to avert growing cases of corruption, and bribery but also increase customer service levels, as per the official press conference.

As we learn that 26 officers have lost their jobs over corruption-related scandals in recent weeks, the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority Deputy Director General Ms. Olive Birungi Lumunyo said enforcement of the directive takes immediate effect.



As per the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority,

“Uganda Civil Aviation Authority received valuable feedback from key stakeholders, the users of the facilities at Entebbe International Airport.”

“The Authority initially issued a statement that first acknowledged the feedback on January 19, 2023 without going into specific details of actions taken, but clarifying the mandate of the various agencies operating at Entebbe International Airport.”

Social media platforms were trending with allegations from travelers with claims that some immigration officers are demanding bribes before clearing them to take flights. The flying public has since shared more leading information through the feedback channels provided and others continued online.

Ms. Olive Birungi Lumunyo further added,

In 2021, the Authority issued a directive to all airport stakeholders urging them to inform their staff who interface with passengers in operational areas that the use of private mobile phones is prohibited while on duty within the terminal building. It is only the supervisors that were exempted,” Ms. Lumonye said

While there may have been laxity in the implementation of this directive, she told reporters, it is now being re-emphasized and is going to be fully enforced.


Year 2021 Ban of use of private mobile phones is prohibited while on duty within the terminal building.

Airport authorities have admitted that there were cases of extortion but said they’re being investigated. A press conference was jointly addressed by UCAA and the head of the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control at Entebbe International Airport on January 20, 2023, which among others highlighted the following mitigation measures that have been put in place as follows;

  1. In 2021, the Authority issued a directive to all airport stakeholders urging them to inform thier staff who interface with passengers in operational areas that use of private mobile phones is prohibited while on duty within the terminal building. It is only the supervisors that were expempted. While there may have been laxity in implementation of this directive, it is now being re-emphasized and is to be fully enforced.
  2. UCAA held engagement meetings with security agencies and others to harmonize operations of the different stakeholders on departure with a view of ensuring that some functions are merged and handled more efficiently by fewer agencies to avoid duplication and multiple checks and desks before a passenger accesses the check- in counters.
  3. It has been resolved that after a passenger has gone past Immigration on departure, recalling them or offloading them for any reason would only take place with the express permission of the Director Airports and Aviation security or General Manager- EIA of UCAA.
  4. The Authority is intensifying the playing of messages on Flight Information Display screens at the airport alerting/reminding passengers not to be compelled to pay any money to anyone in exchage for a favor at the airport.
  5. We would like to reassure the public that all cases/complaints submitted to UCAA with evidence will be thoroughly investigated and action taken. A number of those, which were submitted earlier were worked on and action taken, with staff found culpable disciplined. From 2020 to date, 26 staff members from various agencies have either been suspended, terminated or subjected to other disciplinary measures.
  6. A UCAA staff who appeared in one of the videos and appeared to be seeking some payment was detained at Aviation Police on the morning of January 20, 2022 and is to face disciplinary action as investigations continue.
  7. Name tags for all staff operating at the airport are to be emphasized.
  8. Customer service training for members of staff of all stakeholders operating at Entebbe International Airport is to be emphasized.

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