The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has imposed new charges on international flights, to cater for passenger’s safety and cargo operations.
It includes 10 dollar safety charge per passenger and 20 dollar charge per tonne of goods on each cargo flying across the borders of the country.
The new charges, which is not applicable to domestic flights, will take effect next month after a scheduled consultative meeting with international airlines next week.
The Director General of GCAA, Simon Allotey, who announced these in Accra yesterday, at a stakeholders meeting, said the charges were necessitated by the enforcement of the new GCAA Amendment Act, 2016 (Act 906), to enhance the safety oversight responsibility of the authority.
He said the Act, which was passed in December 2015 and assented by the President in February this year, provided the basis for the authority to ensure safety within the country’s airspace, explaining that it has been recently issued instruments of accession by the Attorney General’s Department to facilitate its enforcement.
Mr Allotey noted that it was designed to conform to international standards, including conventions, such as the Montreal Convention, 2009, on unlawful interference, Rome Convention, 1952 and Cape Town Convention and Protocol, 2000.
The Director of Legal, International Relations and Corporate Communications of GCAA, Ms. Joyce A. Thompson, said the law has empowered the authority to stop or demolish any unauthorised structure including high rising buildings within a radius of 1000 metres of GCCA equipment.
She said the act obliged any persons, who wanted to build within the flight path of GCAA, to seek permit from the GCAA or have the building demolished at his or her own cost.
“We have stressed the fact that lot of times we have flights which fly within visual flight range that comes down to 500 metres. As a result, if you need to put up any structure within the flightpath, horizontal zone, accident prone zone, etc. you need authorisation from GCCA,” Ms Thompson stressed.
According to her, the act also ensured that airlines were surcharged for delaying flights at a cost of Cedi equivalent of 4,150 dollars and 1,000 dollars for destruction, loss or damage to luggage, which would be paid to the passenger after the case has been investigated.
Ms. Thompson said that the authority had been empowered by the act to administrative penalties against persons, airlines and organisations that would flout its regulations up to a penalty unit of 300,000 representing about GH¢3.6 million.
She urged stakeholders to co-operate with the authority in enforcing the law, and asked the media to help sensitise the public about it.
By Charles Amankwa