Kampala Airport (IATA: KLA, ICAO: HUKC) was located on Kololo Hill, in the center of Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city. Its location is about 50 kilometres (31 mi), by air, north of Entebbe International Airport, Uganda’s largest airport. The geographic coordinates of this airport are:00 degrees, 19 minutes, 34 seconds north and 32 degrees, 35 minutes, 33 seconds east (Latitude:0.3260; Longitude:32.5925). Kampala Airport is situated at 1,197 metres (3,927 ft) above sea level, on the south-facing slope of Kololo Hill. The airport had a single gravel runway of 1000 x 60 yd (914 x 55 mt).
Kampala Airport was a small civilian and military, city airport, that served the city of Kampala. The airport now serves as Independence Park and has no scheduled airline service. The airport is not administered by the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority.
Kololo Airstrip was constructed during 1936 at the instigation of Philip Euen Mitchell, Governor of Uganda 1935 – 1940. It consisted of a 1000 x 60 yard all-weather gravel strip cut out of the hillside, with a small tarmac apron on the north side fronting a small hangar and the control building (which still exists).
Aviation use seems to have been low-key, with little justification for what was quite a major construction. All international traffic continued to use the existing airport at Entebbe as Port of entry – ironically, at the request of the Governor’s office: although Kololo was designated a “Customs Aerodrome”. Wilson Airways based a de Havilland Dragonfly (VP-KCA) at the airstrip for official and private charter within Uganda.
A 1939 survey by Imperial Airways notes that prior notice of intended arrival should be sent to P.W.D. Kampala: that Customs, Health and Immigration, and flares for a night landing were also available with prior notice. There was a small P.W.D. workshop, and a Wilson Airways ground engineer. There were no wireless facilities, the nearest W/T station being at Entebbe with the callsign VQQ.
Aviation use during WW2 is unknown – the airstrip however had fallen out of use by 1946 and remained unused thereafter. During the late 1940s / early 1950s Wampewo Avenue and the residential development of Nyonyi Gardens were laid out across the eastern end of the strip, shortening the remaining runway length to approximately 800 yards (730m).
The airstrip was used for the Independence Ceremony in October 1962 and for an open air Mass by Pope Paul VI in 1969.
Possibly the last use of the airstrip by fixed-wing aircraft was in the mid-1970s by members of the Safari Rally Committee who obtained special consent to operate from the site with a Cessna 310. Any such use would be impossible nowadays due to the presence of mature trees and permanent fencing – any aviation use would be restricted to rotary-wing aircraft.