By Bernice Bessey
The Minister of Aviation, Cecilia Dapaah, says the government would be supporting the youth to acquire skills to be gainfully employed in the aviation sector.
This, according to her, would respond to the seemingly increasing demand of technicians, pilots and crews by airlines and cargo handling companies.
According to her, a school would be established, with a responsibility to train these professionals, to enable the country reap the benefits of investing and expanding the aviation sector.
The skills training would also go a long way to assist the country to realise its ambition of securing a national carrier in two years to come.
“Moreover, the locally produced engineers will further help to reduce the chunk of monies spent on foreign expatriates,” she explained, adding, “We believe we will get value for money for all the projects we are undertaking.”
“Particularly, it is important to us, as a ministry…a lot of equipment they (aviation companies) are importing; we should have enough training for our young men and staff, such that, when they break down, we can be able to handle them at our local level, instead of spending money to bring people from outside,” she stated.
The Minister made this known when she embarked on a familiarisation tour of the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in Accra yesterday.
Mrs. Dapaah inspected works ongoing at Terminal ‘3’, which is expected to be completed by next year, to provide an ultra-modern experience to air passengers.
In an interaction with Paul Craig, Managing Director of Aviance, the Minister was educated on some development projects that are about to be undertaken by the company.
Briefing the Minister, Mr. Craig said Aviance had occupied the current facility for 20 years, therefore, they find it imperative to upgrade the structure to match the projected new outlook of the KIA.
He said: “We have seen the investment Ghana is making into KIA, which is substantial, and we are absolutely convinced that when the new terminal is in full operation, Ghana would have the best airport in the whole of sub-region.
“And, we hope that would attract new carriers here to start new operations. It is our dream that Ghana becomes the hub for West Africa.”
Mr. Craig was happy the new government had taken the initiative to continue all project works started by the previous administration, to make the aviation industry a flourishing one.
He promised the Minister that Aviance has big dreams for the industry, adding that he was happy to be part of the journey towards Ghana’s aviation future.
The sector Minister also entreated him to continue supporting the country to develop a robust aviation industry.
As part of the tour, the Minister also inspected operations at the Swiss Port, which has up to date facilities of handling cargo at the airport.
She ended the almost four-hour tour at the Airport Clinic, where a passionate request was made to renovate the health facility to accommodate patients more comfortably.