Minister of Transport, Fifi Fiavi Kwetey has urged operators in the air transport industry in Western and Central Africa to invest in the upgrade of their satellite technologies and the training of human resources in their respective jurisdictions.
This, according to the minister, is to ensure the safety of aircraft and air passengers in the Western-Central Africa sub-region.
Mr. Kwetey made the call while delivering the keynote address at the opening ceremony of the 23rd Satellite Network Management Committee Meeting (SNMC) at the Ghana Civil Aviation Training Academy on Monday in Accra.
He stressed the need for the re-engineering of the satellite network in the sub-region in line with modern technological advancements considering the fact that most equipment started off with by most operators in the sector “may now be approaching the end of their useful lifespan and therefore may not be as efficient as when first installed.
“Since installed equipment have to be operated and maintained by engineers and technicians in the various administrations, do in your deliberations come out with new ideas on how to train, equip and motivate them so that they can always give of their best,” Mr. Kwetey stressed.
The establishment and sustenance of this network, the sector minister said, “is no doubt one of the achievements we as Africans can boast of.”
According to him, the satellite network has succeeded in bringing together people of various nationalities to work and strategize together to ensure that the African airspace becomes one of the safest in the world.
He added that “this clearly demonstrates the principles of cooperation and brotherliness enshrined in the charter of ECOWAS and the African Union.”
Details of the meeting
Representatives of specialist companies and vendors of satellite communications technology from across the Western-Central Africa sub-region are attending the four-day SNMC meeting.
The SNMC was established in 1994 after the completion of an Aeronautical Communication Satellite Project Network involving Ghana and a number of countries in the Western-Central Africa sub-territory.
The network, also known as AFISNET, seeks to ensure the safety of flights, with the Flight Information Regions of the Sub-region through the use of satellite technology for the dissemination of aeronautical information.
To sustain the network interconnectivity, availability, member states, represented by their respective aviation administrations, meet once a year to deliberate on issues affecting the network so as to optimize the network performance.
In his welcome remarks, Director-General of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, Ing. Simon Allotey said the establishment of AFISNET had enhanced the dissemination of flight-related data in the Western and Central Africa sub-region.
He stressed the need to align AFISNET’s engineering strategy with ICAO’s Global Air Navigation Plan to enhance air navigation capacity and efficiency in the implementation of the Aviation System Block Upgrade, commonly referred to as ASBUS.
BY Melvin Tarlue