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Cooperate with airlines which delay flights during harmattan season - GCAA urges passengers

The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has asked airline passengers to cooperate with airlines which delay flights during the harmattan season.

Director-General of GCAA, Simon Allotey, said, airlines were compelled to delay flights in order not to risk the safety of aircrafts and passengers during periods of harsh weather conditions.

“The harmattan brings up a lot of dust in the air which makes visibility very poor for pilots. Pilots are cautious not to fly when they are unable to properly see the runway. So flights are delayed until the conditions improve.

We appeal to all passengers to bear with airlines which delay flights during the harmattan season. It is for the safety of all of us,” he added.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the 75th International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Day flag-raising parade and exhibition in Accra yesterday.

This year’s event, which was under the theme, “75 years of Connecting the World”, was to reflect on the role of aviation in transporting goods, services and people for socio-economic development.

On concerns about ageing British Airways aircrafts to Ghana, Mr Allotey, said, although the aircraft were old, they were safe and airworthy, and were regularly inspected and certified by the United Kingdom aeronautical authorities.

However, he indicated that the Authority was in discussions with the airline to introduce new aircrafts to give passengers comfort and convenience.

He said the GCAA was focused on improving the capacity of its personnel to improve safety and security of aircrafts and passengers, and warned frontline personnel at the Kotoka International Airports against practices that make the airports unfriendly to travelers and tourists.

In recognition of the importance of air transport to economic development, Minister of Aviation, Joseph Kofi Adda, said the Ministry had reviewed the country’s aviation policy and developed a new master plan to propel the sector’s growth.

Additionally, an accident investigation bureau, he said, had been established in line with ICAO’s standards, and recommended practices to promote safety in the sector.

He said the Ministry had also launched the Aviation-Driven Development initiative which would lead to the construction of Ghana’s first maintenance, repairs and overhaul and cargo facilities at the Tamale Airport and the development of a world-class pilot training institution.

BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS

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