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Ghana obtains highest African score in aviation safety

Ghana has obtained Africa’s highest score in Aviation Safety Oversight after scoring a provisional Effective Implementation (EI) rate of 89.89 per cent.

This was after the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) concluded its Coordinated Validation Mission (ICVM) on April 3, 2019, in line with the United Nations Aviation Agency’s Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP).

Addressing a press conference in Accra on Friday, Minister of Aviation, Joseph Kofi Adda said the rating was concluded after a nine-day follow-up onsite activity by a four-member team of experts from ICAO to validate corrective measures undertaken by Ghana, following a USOAP audit in November 2006.

He said, “It is important to note that the final rating will be communicated to Ghana within six weeks after validation of the provisional score by ICAO.”

The minister stressed the need for the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) to immediately develop an action plan towards the implementation of corrective measures that have been recommended by the ICAO team.

“Ghana’s air transport industry enjoys strong government support, which is a crucial determinant for the aviation sector’s ability to maintain an ICAO compliant regulatory framework and to achieve accelerated sustainable growth of the sector in the years ahead,” he added.

Mr Adda further stated that in line with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s vision of re-positioning Ghana as the sub-region’s aviation hub, Parliament recently passed the Ghana Civil Aviation (Amendment) Act, 2019 (Act 985) together with the Legislative Instrument on Aircraft Accident and Serious Incident Regulations,2019 (LI 2375) to ensure enhanced compliance with ICAO’s Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS).

Reaffirming the minister’s remarks, Director General of GCAA, Mr Simon Allotey noted that “this enviable milestone is a reflection of the robustness of our safety oversight system which ultimately translates into improved safety of airline operations”.

By adhering to ICAO’s SARPS related to safety oversight, the GCAA he added, effectively ensures that aviation service providers and airline operators maintained an acceptable level of operational safety.

He stated that the ICVM assessed Ghana’s safety oversight system on all eight ICAO Critical Elements (CEs) including primary aviation legislation, state operating regulations, state civil aviation system and safety oversight functions and technical personnel qualification and training.

According to Mr Allotey the other CEs that were validated included technical guidance, tools and the provision of safety-critical information; licensing, certification, authorisation and approval obligations, surveillance obligations, and resolution of safety concerns.

Ghana, he said, recorded a substantial improvement across all eight CEs, and the team from the UN specialised aviation agency identified no significant safety concerns (SSCs).

“Our performance of 89.89 per cent is world-class and places Ghana at the top spot in Africa in terms of safety oversight, considering that the average EI rate on the continent stands at 52 per cent, which is lower than the global average of 66.5 per cent and below ICAO’s current minimum target of 60 per cent,” he stressed.

Mr Allotey expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Aviation, Board of Directors, management and staff of GCAA for the successful outcome of the ICVM, and to the members of the ICAO team for the professionalism, objectivity and cooperation exhibited throughout the process.

BY RAISSA SAMBOU

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