The Ministry of Aviation has re-affirmed that the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) has no contract with LCB Worldwide Ghana Limited, a local crisis management company, for the disinfection of airports in the country.
Mr Joseph Kofi Adda, Minister of Aviation, stated that the company was rather in agreement with the Ministries of Health and Transport to fumigate and install disinfection systems at the Tema and Takoradi ports.
Addressing a press conference in Accra yesterday, he indicated that, although LCB Worldwide presented a proposal to the GACL on disinfection of the country’s airports, the cost implications was unbearable for the GACL saying that, it was erroneous for anyone to suggest that a non-existing contract had been diverted.
“Indeed, all I can say is that officers of LCB Worldwide were in my office and I directed them to GACL. My understanding is that they presented a proposal for consideration. Under this proposal to GACL, the US$19 million cost of the disinfection was to be recovered through a US$20 levy on domestic and international air passengers,” he added.
According to the Minister, imposition of such a levy violates the guidance and recommended practices on airport-related charges set by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
“The aviation industry is a well-regulated and coordinated sector. The IATA and ICAO’s main objective going forward is to ensure the growth of the global aviation industry. This means encouraging more passengers and luggage. Such a levy will increase airline fares, a move that frowns on the goals of the international aviation industry. It will be flatly resisted. This is why the proposal was not acceptable to us,” he added.
Even before the proposal, Mr Adda explained that the Ministry and GACL were considering disinfection of airports adding that an alternative company was given the approval to undertake the exercise using laid down government policy and due process.
He said Ghana’s effective disinfection measures and standards have received glowing commendation from IATA and had since been adopted for use in other countries and enabled resumption of domestic flights operations in the country.
In furtherance of the safety and security protocols at Ghana’s airports and make Ghana an aviation hub, the Minister noted that the Ministry was ready to partner with any company with the required capacity.
He urged the public to disregard the unsubstantiated claims by some members of the Greater Accra Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) which accuses the Minister and Managing Director of GACL of contract diversion.
Greater Accra Branch of GUTA has in a series of press conferences argued that LCB Worldwide had a contract to disinfect the exterior of the baggage, cargo, containers and other areas at the airport.
In view of that, the group said, they had petitioned President Nana Akufo-Addo with regards to the development and looking forward to the right response with regards to installation of the right systems at the airports.
They argued that the Ministry of Aviation was performing the task of the Ministry of Health, as they were conducting disinfection supervision without any medical background and the concern of any authority on border-crossing.
By CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS