Serving the Greater Northwest since 1972


Structural Engineering
Entebbe International Airport Project

In January, 1994 our firm completed a project in Entebbe, Uganda. Entebbe is the location of Entebbe International Airport, best known for the dramatic rescue of 103 hostages kidnapped by Palestinian and German Terrorists on July 4, 1976. The plane Air France Flight 139 was hijacked and flown to Entebbe. The rescue mission was carried out by Special Forces of the Israeli Defense Forces commanded by Lt. Commander Jonathan (Yoni) Netanyahu; the older brother of current Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Yoni Netanyahu was the only commando killed during the raid.

The project comprised of the design of foundation, footings and floor plan for a Hangar Building located at the Entebbe Site. The project owner was Air Serve and the contractor was Excell Ventures owned by Bob Renfro of Caldwell, Idaho. The concrete crew foreman was a petite young African woman. All the concrete was mixed with a small gas powered cement mixer and placed by hand with wheelbarrows.

Mr. Renfro was on site during the time of construction January to August, 1994. During Mr. Renfro's time at Entebbe he related many interesting stories about Uganda and especially Entebbe. Potable water was difficult to procure at the site. All water had to be boiled or filtered before consummation. Most fruits and vegetables that could be peeled were usually safe to eat. (Good thing Mr. Renfro liked fruits and vegetables.) I came home with some stories of my own; one incident that comes to mind was when a large Python slithered onto the site and was killed.

All building plan dimensions had to use the Metric System. The building measured 125 feet wide by 120 feet long with a 30ft lean-to extension on one end. The structure was manufactured in the United States by CBC Steel Buildings, shipped to Entebbe Uganda and assembled on site. It was reported that the hangar was the first pre-fabricated steel building to be erected in Uganda. Uganda uses the Metric System. Therefore, the plans were designed with the Metric System in mind.

The Old Control Tower is still at the site of the raid and is riddled with bullet holes from the raid. Mr. Renfro had the privilege of escorting the daughter of Uganda President, Mr. Museveni on a tour of the Old Control Tower during his time in Uganda.

Mr. Renfro returned to Entebbe about 5 years after the project was completed; and a reunion was held by all the people who worked on the project.
Entebbe, Uganda. Entebbe

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