Help GCAA to ensure sanity in airspace

 Drones, remote control aircraft usu­ally without human pilots, crew or passengers on board, have become very useful in today’s life as they are deployed for purposes, including delivery of medical supplies, warfare and photog­raphy.

It will be recalled that the Ministry of Health, for instance, launched the Ghana Drone Delivery Service on April 24, 2019, in partnership with Zipline, a company, to operate a 24-hour service to deliver medical supplies within designated areas in the country.

Launching it at Omenako in the Eastern Region, the Vice-President, Dr Maha­mudu Bawumia, said among other objectives that the tech­nology would help increase Ghanaians’ access to health services and also solve a ma­jor problem in health delivery to people in remote areas who could not be reached easily by roads.

Besides medical supply services, we find pho­tographers using drones to take images at social events.

In addition to deliver­ing medical supplies, the technology is also being used to disinfect places in the country.

At a Ghana Civil Avi­ation Authority (GCAA) stakeholders’ breakfast meeting in Accra yester­day, its Director-Gener­al, Mr Charles Kraikue, spoke about the prolifer­ation of drones and their unregulated use within the country’s airspace.

He expressed worry that the situation posed a threat to the safety and security of airlines and passengers.

He explained that the operation of these drones interrupted air traffic control systems and, thus, created challenges for air­lines flying routes within the airspace.

It is on record that all things being equal, air travel is the safest of all transportation systems but can be deadliest when not handled with all the nec­essary caution prescribed under safety standards.

We are, however, happy that the GCAA is taking the necessary measures to check the proliferation of drones in the country’s airspace to stem all avoid­able aviation accidents. (See our lead story).

We first commend the GCAA for not adopting the usual fire-fighting ap­proach to doing things in the country in which case we wait till the obvious occurs before we run to begin to see what solution we can adopt.

Most of the time, we go to salvage what is left, meaning the loss is always enormous and regrettable.

The GCAA move is a pro­active one and exemplary.

We encourage the GCAA to be stringent enough in its check of the situation be­cause a little lax and the result would be fatal and extremely costly and regrettable.

The situation has to do with lives of passengers, who are playing different roles in their different capacities for their own benefits and those of families, communities, the country and even the global community.

We are yet to see the sanc­tions for non-registration of drones service in the country, but we can guess that they would be deterrent enough, including confiscation of the drones if that is tenable, to force all owners of drones to register their facilities,

The loss of even a life in an avoidable air accident can be one too many, so all drone operators should help the GCAA to ensure sanity in the country’s airspace.

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