Government to continue with Air liberalization policy – President Mills

President John Evans Atta-Mills has stated that government was committed in pursuing its policies to liberalize the regulatory environment of civil aviation and the expansion of its infrastructure.

He said Government would strengthen the institutional and human resource base of the Aviation industry as it continued to review its bilateral agreements with African countries in accordance with the Yamoussoukro Decision (YD).

President Mills made these statements in a speech read for him by Alhaji Asoma Banda, Member of the Council of State to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) at a parade held in Accra on Monday.

He said government recognised the transportation industry as a catalyst for economic growth, thus the objective of the medium term plan and national transport policy to ensure a safe, efficient, accessible and environmentally friendly transport system in Ghana through the provision, expansion and maintenance of transport infrastructure and services.

“Government is taking a broader view of air transport facilitation beyond the activities of border control authorities such as customs, immigration to ensure safety and comfort of passengers” he said.

President Mills described the record of aviation safety in Ghana’s Flight Information Region (FIR), as “tremendous and unparalleled on the African continent” and commended the GCAA for their hard work in attaining that record.

He noted that the liberalization policy in relation to external partners would be based on reciprocity and with the interest of the state of Ghana as an over-riding condition.

On domestic air transport, the President said, Kumasi and Sunyani would be refurbished to enhance domestic air transport services to feed KIA, whilst the Airport was being upgraded into an alternate international airport.

Air Commodore Mamphey, Director-General of the GCAA, recounting some achievements of the Authority in its 25 years, said it had successfully implemented the Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM), which means that it now has the capacity to manage double the number of aircrafts in a given airspace.

Also, they had also contributed to the establishment of the Banjul Accord Group Aviation Safety Oversight Organisation (BAGASOO), resulting in a stringent aviation sub-regional body with its own strategy for aviation safety while conforming to the demands of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) with the Director-General of the GCAA as its current chairman.

The Authority had also, among other things, acquired some technical gadgets including an automatic weather observation system (AWOS) and was in the process of migrating to the use of the Multilateration (Mlat) to improve air surveillance.

Air Commodore Mamphey pledged the GCAA’s support for general aviation activities and continued hard work so as to have more to show in the 25 years.

Alhaji Collins Dauda, Minister of Transport, also commended the GCAA for setting high standards in the corporate world, adding “the Ministry of Transport is proud of you for bringing a beacon of hope in the aviation industry in Africa”.

He stated that government was collaborating with other agencies to ensure the safety and security of aircrafts and their passengers against acts of sabotage and terrorism.

He urged the board, management and staff of the GCAA to do all they could to regain the Federal Aviation Category One status (FAA CAT 1) and to continue to be torch bearers and pace setters.

“As you celebrate your 25th anniversary, I urge you to break more barriers by constantly ensuring that your slogan ‘Safety and Security: Our Priority’ is held high.”

Cadets were drawn from the Achimota Senior High School Army Cadet, Accra Girls High School Air Force Cadet, Rescue and Fire Fighting Service, Ghana Air Force and the Aviation Security Cadet Corps for the parade.

The cadets and some staff of the GCAA were flown in an Air force craft around the city of Accra.

Source: GNA

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