Ghana has commenced the licensing of specialist engineers involved in the creation and support of the ground-based electronic hardware and software systems used to support air navigation and air traffic management.
Ghana, Nigeria and Burkina Faso are the three countries in Africa that licenses such specialists, formally referred to as Air traffic Safety Electronics Personnel (ATSEP).
Since 2017, the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), which is responsible for the provision of the licenses, had licensed 35 members of ATSEP with 30 more in the offing to receive theirs by end of 2022.
President of Ghana Air Traffic Safety Electronic Association (GhATSEA), Mahama Asunga Abdulai, said this during the celebration of the International ATSEP Day in Accra last Friday.
Observed by member states of the International Federation of Air Traffic Safety Electronics Associations (IFATSEA) globally, the day was set aside by IFATSEA in recognition of the efforts of ATSEP towards ensuring the safety of air transportation all over the world.
It was on the theme: “Enabling Global Aviation Recovery by Ensuring CNS/ATM Service Continuity and a Cybersecure Ground ANS Ecosystem.”
Mr Abdulai noted that the work of ATSEP was a critical layer in the aviation safety chain which enabled the provision of air traffic services (ATS).
He said the safety of the global aviation network made it imperative for ATSEPs to be well trained, qualified, competent, and licensed to install, maintain and control various air traffic control systems, and ultimately safeguard passengers, aircraft crews, and cargo.
This, he noted, required the continuous upgrading of Communications, Navigation and Surveillance Systems and Air Traffic Management Systems (CNS/ATM) infrastructure, and the training and retraining of ATSEP in the management of these systems.
Mr Abdulai expressed the commitment of ATSEP to facilitate the training and licensing of all newly recruited engineers/technicians in the country at the Ghana Civil Aviation Training Academy (GATA).
This he said would bolster GATA’s credentials as the go-to- place for engineering CNS/ATM training and qualifications within West Africa.
Charles Kraikue, Director General of GCAA, commended ATSEP for working to build and maintain Ghana’s CNS/ATM systems.
He said the Authority was solidly behind efforts by Ghana to hold its first ATSEP license training programme and attract people from all over the world to train in the country.
He called on the engineers and specialist to appraise themselves with technological trends in engineering, including Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain.
Yaw Kwakwa, Managing Director of Ghana Airport Company Limited, extolled the competencies of Ghanaian engineers, particularly with the installation and maintenance of systems.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS