Parliament on Friday passed a bill to amend the Ghana Civil Aviation Act 906 (2016) to improve safety and strengthen security in the aviation Sector.
A release issued by the Ministry of Aviation, and copied to the Ghanaian Times, on Saturday, said the sector minister and Member of Parliament for Navrongo Central in the Upper East Region, Mr Kofi Adda, who moved for the amendment to be passed, explained that the bill was also to ensure that Ghana became compliant to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
He explained that though the sector was already doing well by global standards and was ranking very high, the amendment would help to address the deficiencies identified in numerous assessments of the structures and operational systems of air navigational services as well as ensure the effective implementation of the state safety programmes and accident investigations.
This he said would be done by setting up an independent outfit under the ministry for the Accidents and Serious Incidents Investigations in the sector.
According to Mr Adda It would also enhance the powers of the Director General of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) to enable it to carry on investigations and access vital information.
He said the law made provision for the funding of the independent outfit to ensure that its personnel worked effectively to prevent the operation of flights by unqualified personnel.
“The amendment would see the decoupling of the GCAA, segregating the regulatory function and navigation services provision,” it explained.
“Here too, a new outfit for the Air Navigation Services would be established under the amendment if assented into law by the President.”
The statement said, the Aviation Ministry would move to get additional regulations passed through by the Subsidiary Legislation Committee of Parliament, in time for an audit by the ICAO, later this month.
The amendment, the minister said, had far reaching consequences with regard to the improvement of Ghana’s rating into the Category One Status to qualify under the Federal Aviation Administration for Ghanaian flights to enter into the United States of America.
“In recent times, we have seen major initiatives in such infrastructural projects and system enhancements, which combined with this legislation, all point in the direction of the nation truly becoming the aviation hub in the sub region.”
BY TIMES REPORTER