Aviation Ministry confers with airline operators on COVID-19 pandemic

The Aviation Ministry has called for the support of major players in the industry to ensure compliance with recent government travel notices.

That, the sector minister, Joseph Kofi Adda explained, would reduce the spread of the disease through air transport.

He said this at a media briefing on Monday in Accra after a meeting with the Board of Airline Representatives of Ghana, (BARG) and Airline Operators Committee (AOC) on the implementation of government announced measures to fight the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country.

“The ministry acknowledged the crucial importance of the airline industry to Ghana’s economy, especially in view of the President’s vision for the sector, that is why we are soliciting the cooperation of the two-major stakeholders in ensuring compliance with a recent government travel notice that now restricts entry from countries that have recorded at least 200 cases of COVID-19.” he said.

Mr Adda indicated that, the government has taken these steps in the interest of public safety and in recognition of urgent need to reduce the spread through air transport.

The situation, he explained, was constantly being reviewed and the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GASCL) and the Ghana Ports Health Authority would work closely to address any challenge the pandemic would pose.

Mr Adda stated that, the outbreak of the disease, if not carefully handled, could get out of hand, hence the need to rope in all stakeholders to ensure the safety of travellers and the citizens of the operating country.

The minister urged the union and professional associations of the GCAA to bury their differences and support the ministry over the COVID-19 scare.

According to Mr Adda, “their action smacks of insensitivity to the human race currently confronted with the scourge of this deadly pandemic and to the thousands who have lost their lives or are receiving treatment in medical facilities across the world.” he said.

The chairperson of BARG, Mrs Gloria Wilkinson Mensah said, the current situation called for all hands on desk to help fight the COVID-19 outbreak.

According to her, the continuous spread of the disease could totally collapse the aviation industry, hence the need for closer collaboration with decision makers to contain the situation.

The chairperson of AOC, Mrs Sylvia Baah commended government for the swift response and assured that, a meeting would be held to draw a clear roadmap for the sector in the wake of the outbreak of COVID-19.

BY LAWRENCE VOMAFA-AKPALU

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