Staff Sgt. Kristoffer Schneider survived devastating injuries from a head wound. Another airman, Edgar Veguilla, was hit in the jaw and an arm.
Judge Thomas Sagebiel ruled at the state court in Frankfurt that the circumstances of the killing meant Uka bore "particularly severe guilt." That means he won't immediately be eligible for parole after 15 years as, is usual in Germany, but must wait several more years for a review of his behavior and his prospects for rehabilitation.
Life sentences without chance of parole are not possible under German law.
In his ruling, Sagebiel cited the fact that Uka shot unarmed people - from behind, in Alden's case - and the severity of the injuries and disabilities Schneider and Veguilla suffered. Sagebiel also noted that only the pistol's malfunctioning kept Uka from killing several more people trapped on the bus.
Uka smiled and chatted with his lawyers before and after the sentence was announced. He then sat with his eyes closed and his head down as the judge detailed his reasoning.
Prosecutors said Uka, an ethnic Albanian born in Kosovo who grew up in Germany and worked as a temporary mail sorter at the airport, was an example of a lone-wolf extremist who became radicalized on his own by reading and watching jihadist propaganda on the Internet.