GCAA HOLDS 57TH ANNUAL IFATCA CONFERENCE IN ACCRA, GHANA.
The President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stressed the need for governments around the world to put in place the requisite investments, infrastructure and air navigation systems to respond to the anticipated traffic growth and also keep up to the dynamism in technology that the aviation industry demanded.
“We must, as a matter of priority, ensure that the aviation industry is placed among the top priorities of our national priority agenda,”
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said this when he opened the 57th Annual Conference of International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers Association in Accra yesterday.
He commended air traffic controllers whose efforts have, over the years, made Ghana’s airspace safe and secured, despite the volume of traffic in the country’s airspace.
He intimated that, the contribution of air traffic controllers to safety and security in the aviation industry had been largely unrecognized.
“We most often than not, tend to recognize the efforts of our pilots, airhostesses, engineers and other technical staff, and attribute the smoothness or otherwise of our flights to these people. But I am sure that I am not the only one who shares the view that without you, our air traffic controllers, there would be utter chaos, both in our airports and skies”
“Air traffic will literally be impossible without the very important work that you do. As we say in Ghana, ‘Ayekoo’ and more grease to your elbows,” the President said.
The purpose of the conference is to create the platform for stakeholders in the international air traffic industry to discuss how best to protect and safeguard the interest of air traffic control profession and promote and uphold a high standard of knowledge and professional efficiency among air traffic controllers through the origination of policies and the dissemination of knowledge.
The week-long programme also aims to create, maintain, and enhance the worldwide fellowship of the world traffic controllers. The theme of the conference is ‘Making the future ours’.
President Akufo-Addo under scored the importance of the air traffic industry to the development of the global economy and indicated that according to the 2017 figures release by the International Air Travel Association(IATA), the global air transport industry supported 62.7million jobs world-wide.
“Every day, 9.8 million passengers take to the air, with 104 thousand flights and some US$18.6 billion worth of goods are carried. IATA notes that air traffic globally has been growing at five percent annually and has been projected to grow by 5.6 percent per year, over the next 20 years,” he said.
Explaining the rational for the re-introduction of the aviation ministry by his administration, the President indicated the ministry would not only develop the industry in Ghana but also make it competitive within the West African sub-region.
He said a number of projects had been initiated, with some nearing completion, to guarantee an enhanced air travel experience.
The projects, he said, included the construction of a new passenger terminal with capacity of five million passengers a year, a home-based national airline in line with the country’s vision of becoming the aviation hub in West Africa, construction of a new air navigation complex, establishing of an aviation academy, upgrading of the Kumasi and Tamale Airports, among others.
“Our vision is to position Ghana, both as an aviation hub within West Africa and as the preferred destination of choice for travelers. Government hopes to achieve this by working with the private sector to offer modern attractive air transport infrastructure and by building capacity and establishing institutional and policy framework to enhance safety and security of air services,|” he said.