Information was received from the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) that work has been put out to tender for bids to re-gravel the CAA-owned and operated field in the Kidepo Valley National Park. Flying into the remote park, which is located in the border triangle between Uganda, Kenya, and the Southern Sudan, is the easiest way to reach there, and the safest way for that matter. Visitors to the park, considered by this correspondent as one of the most scenic in Eastern Africa, normally stay at the Apoka Safari Lodge, owned and operated by Wildplaces Africa and The Uganda Safari Company, which also offers packages including air transport from the Kajjansi aerodrome to Kidepo.
The CAA owns and manages a number of upcountry aerodromes and airfields, some of them even located inside the national parks like the Pakuba airfield in Murchisons Falls National Park, to promote air travel and avoid the often tiring and lengthy journeys by road. Tenders for upgrading and maintenance are also expected to be invited soon for these other fields like Arua, Masindi, Pakuba, Mbarara, Kisoro, Kasese, Jinja, Tororo, Lira, Moroto, Soroti, and Gulu, some of which are tarmacked, while others are under an all-weather gravel surface.
Meanwhile, in a related development, aviation sources have confirmed that Shell has once again run out of AVGAS and lubricants, lending more credence to suggestions that they no longer bother about this important fuel segment, having made their decision to sell their retail business in Eastern Africa and Uganda.