Business News of Sunday, 12 March 2017
The Minister of Aviation, Ms Cecilia Abena Dapaah, says the ministry has started receiving proposals from interested investors who want to partner the government to establish a national airline.
Although she declined to give details of the number of proposals received, she said the plan of the government was to establish a national airline based on a public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement “so that we can have a more effective airline and restore the pride of Ghana in the air.”
Ms Dapaah was speaking during a visit to the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) in Accra to familiarise herself with the operations of the authority.
No new airline
Ms Dapaah indicated that the government does not intend to revive the defunct Ghana International Airlines, but rather introduce a new national carrier which will operate on the West Coast and restore “Ghana’s pride in the air.”
She stated that the government was determined to develop Ghana’s airline industry to make it the aviation hub in the West African sub-region.
In line with that objective, she said, the government would focus on the development of airstrips and helipads to encourage tourism and ease international medical evacuation.
Ms Dapaah commended the staff and management of the GCAA for working tirelessly to put Ghana’s name on the international aviation map and urged them to manage and maintain the equipment of the company.
“Work in peace and harmony and endeavour to take care of the equipment,” she said, and entreated the management of GCAA to endeavour to replace all old equipment to ensure a good working environment for the workers.
Declaring that she would operate an open-door ministry, Ms Dapaah urged the workers and managers of GCAA to feel free to share with her constructive ideas which would contribute to the growth of the aviation industry and the economic growth of the nation.
With regard to encroachment on the GCAA lands across the country, Ms Dapaah said she had held discussions with the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to find a solution to the problem.
She also advised the GCAA to endeavour to patrol the lands regularly saying “the issue is in court. It is unfortunate, but we need to work together to rectify it.”
In a welcome address, the Director-General of the GCAA, Mr Simon Allotey, said the authority was working on the decoupling of its navigation services from its regulatory functions.
In that regard, he said a committee had been set up to ensure the sustainability and effectiveness of the two entities.
An external consultant, he said, was yet to review the work done which would also be forwarded to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) for further review.
“We expect that the decoupling process would be done by the end of this year,” Mr Allotey said.
To improve flight operations in the country, Mr Allotey said engineers were currently working on the installation of landing systems at the Tamale Airport.