By: Sheila Tamakloe
Parliament has passed into law an amendment of the Ghana Civil Aviation Act to further improve safety and strengthen security in the aviation industry. The amendment is to ensure that Ghana is ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) compliant.
According to Joseph Kofi Adda, the Aviation Minister who moved the motion for the adoption of the bill on Friday, the sector is already doing well by global standards.
The Navrongo MP said the sector is ranking highly but this amendment is to further take into consideration, deficiencies identified in various assessments of the structures and operational systems of air navigation services.
He said it will see to the effective implementation of the state safety programmes and accidents investigations by setting up an independent outfit under the Minister for the Accidents and Serious Incidents investigations in the sector.
Mr Adda said the amendment would also make provision for the funding of the independent outfit to ensure effective work by its personnel.
“The powers of the Director General of Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) would also be enhanced to allow for access for accidents investigations and information as well as to be able to prevent flights by unqualified personnel,” he added.
The same amendment would also see the decoupling of the GCAA segregating the regulatory function and navigation services provision.
“Here too, a new outfit for the Air Navigation Services would be established under the amendment if assented into law by the President,” he said.
Following the amendment, the Aviation Ministry would move to get additional regulations passed through by the Subsidiary Legislation Committee of Parliament, all in time for an audit by ICAO later this month.
“All in all, the amendment has far-reaching consequences in terms of Ghana’s rating improving and bringing the country into the Category 1 Status to qualify under the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for Ghanaian flights to enter into the United States of America,” the Minister explained.