The Parliament of Ghana passed into law, subject to the assent of His Excellency the President, an amendment of the Ghana Civil Aviation Act 906 (2016) to further improve safety and strengthen security in the aviation industry of the country at about 5:30 pm Friday 8th March 2019.
According to the Minister of Aviation, Joseph Kofi Adda, also the MP for Navrongo who moved the motion for the adoption of the bill, the amendment is to ensure that Ghana is ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) compliant.
He said the aviation sector is already doing well by global standards and is ranking highly but this amendment is to further take into consideration, deficiencies identified in various assessments of the structures and operational systems of air navigation services, the effective implementation of the state safety programmes and accidents investigations, by setting up an independent outfit under the Minister for the Accidents and Serious Incidents investigations in the sector.
The amendment would also make provision for the funding of the independent outfit to ensure effective work by its personnel. The powers of the Director General of GCAA would also be enhanced to allow for access for accidents investigations and fir information as well as to be able to prevent flights by unqualified personnel.
The same amendment would also see the decoupling of the GCAA segregating the regulatory function and navigation services provider. Here too, a new outfit for the Air Navigation Services would be established under the amendment if assented into law by the President.
It must be noted also that following this, the Aviation Ministry would also move to get additional regulations passed through by the Subsidiary Legislation Committee of Parliament, all in time for an audit by ICAO later this month.
All in all, the amendment has far-reaching consequences in terms of Ghana’s rating improving and bringing the country into the Category 1 Status to qualify under the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for Ghanaian flights to enter into the United States of America.
In recent times we have seen major initiatives such as infrastructural projects and systems enhancements which combined with this legislation, all point in the direction of the nation truly becoming the aviation hub in the sub-region.