A former Director-General of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Wing Commander Andy Mensah (retd), has called on the government to introduce a national airline to boost the aviation sector.
The absence of a national airline, he said, had contributed to capital flight from the country, saying it was one of the main factors derailing the economy.
“Aviation is an anchor to every nation’s economy.
We need an airline so that we keep all the investments in the country.
Without it, we will continue to experience capital flight since the foreign airlines will repatriate their earnings. It doesn’t help in promoting businesses,” he said.
Wg Cdr Mensah was speaking in Accra on May 16 during the 37th anniversary celebration of the GCAA.
The event, which was also to honour retired staff of the authority, was on the theme: “37 Years of Providing World Class Regulation and Air Navigation Services in the Aviation Industry”.
Wg Cdr Mensah’s proposal is in line with a revelation by the Transport Minister, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, in March, this year that a new national airline would begin operation in June.
Ghana Airlines, as it will be called, is expected to fly to the UK and USA.
Mr Asiamah said the airline had satisfied all the requirements.
“It is well grounded and all the requirements have been satisfied.
They are going to launch their logo; my information is that by the end of April or May, they will start selling their tickets.
And by June-July, you will see a national airline, Ghana Airlines, flying in the air,” the Transport Minister stated.
The Director-General of the GCAA, Charles Kraikue, said for the past 37 years, the authority had provided world-class regulation and air navigation services within the aviation industry, connecting people and cultures from all world regions.
Due to International Civil Aviation Organisation compliance and industry best practice, he said, the GCAA had secured government’s support for the passage in Parliament of an Air Navigation Services Agency Bill.
He noted that under the Bill, an air navigation services provider would be established to take over the provision of air navigation services within Accra, a role which is currently being performed by the GCAA, to pave the way for the authority to specifically focus on its regulatory mandate.
The GCAA Director-General said the GCAA was also constructing a new air navigation services complex that would deliver air traffic management services, communications, navigation and surveillance systems, and meteorological service for air navigation and aeronautical information management, among others.
Mr Kraikue stated that a new air traffic management system had been installed, while older equipment around the country, including those located in São Tomé and Príncipe, had upgraded to improve service delivery.
He added that the authority would soon commence the construction of another ultra-modern air traffic control tower building as the current one had outlived its purpose.
The Managing Director of the Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL), Pamela Djamson-Tettey, congratulated the board, management and staff of GCAA on their 37th anniversary celebration.
The GACL was decoupled from the GCAA in 2006 and commenced operations in 2007 with core staff who had been trained by the authority.
“Following the decoupling there had been an excellent professional and industry collaboration between the two organisations, said the GACL Managing Director “an effective collaboration between the regulator and the operator was a positive force in propelling the aviation industry in Ghana to greater heights”.
She said such collaboration had led to the certification of the Kotoka International Airport and the commencement of certification processes for the other airports in the country.