GCAA prepares land to install aviation equipment

Mr  Fifii Kwetey( fourth from right) and Mr Simon Allotey(fourth from left) in a  pose with the participants (3)Work has began on a 153 acre of land at La Nkwantanan in Accra for the installation of a 600, 000 Euro aviation equipment to enhance air transport.

The land is currently under preparation for a medium and long term installation of radio systems and other aviation infrastructure to facilitate safe and secure aviation activities in the Greater Accra Region.

It is expected to be completed and ready for inauguration next month after suppliers of the equipment from Belgium install and run tests.

This comes on the heels of agitations by workers of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) last month demanding the release of the encroached 640 acre land belonging to the authority for the installation of the equipment

The workers threatened an industrial action a fortnight ago calling on government to retrieve GCAA lands, encroached upon at La Nkwantanan for the project.

However, speaking to the media at the maiden Obstruction and Land Use Conference (OLUC) in Accra yesterday, the Director General of GCAA, Mr. Simon Allotey expressed the hope that the equipment would be installed and be ready for use next month.

Themed, “institutional collaboration in land use management to enhance aviation safety,” the three-day conference assembled industry players, mainly members of the Banjul Accord Group (BAG) to discuss solutions to challenges confronting the industry.

The Minister of Transport, Mr. Fifi Kwetey called for close collaboration among stakeholders to maintain safe environment for air transport.

According to him, there was the urgent need for a framework that would ensure the proper planning and management of land to serve as a formidable tool in dealing with various challenges facing the aviation industry.

“It is important to devise strategic policies to mitigate existing and future operational challenges in order to maintain safe, secure and effective use of land around airports within the sub region,” he stressed.

Mr. Kwetey was optimistic that such efforts would enhance air travel which is currently the most efficient mode of transportation ranked among the highest employer of labour in the transport sector, providing over 62 million jobs and 2.5 trillion dollars of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) globally.

He reiterated the tremendous growth in the last couple of years in international and domestic travels, saying it was a true reflection of the stable political, social and economic atmosphere maintained by government.

Making reference to the introduction of new airlines, Mr. Kwetey said the sector had recorded significant growth over the past decades leading to increased revenue and competition that had resulted in competitive air fares and creation of employment.

The Managing Director of Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL), Charles Kwame Asare, called for broad and comprehensive public education on aviation land use and its effect on air transport to prevent encroachment on aviation lands.

He said it was important for stakeholders to develop a roadmap that would facilitate the promulgation of laws to ensure proper management of airport lands.

By Charles Amankwa and Benedicta Ampadu Okyere

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