Accra, 11th April 2019 – The Ministry of Aviation and the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) facilitated a forum yesterday on the implementation of an Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS) at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
Known as “iBorders,” the proposed initiative will enhance compliance with Annex 9 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation and will be developed and implemented by Société Internationale de Télécommunication Aéronautique (SITA) and iTrack, which represents SITA locally.
Over 60 officials from GCAA, Ghana Airports Company Limited, Ghana Immigration Service, the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, and airlines attended the one-day event at the Ghana Civil Aviation Training Academy, where representatives of SITA and iTrack delivered presentations on key aspects of the APIS.
Delivering a keynote address on behalf of the Minister for Aviation, acting Chief Director of the Ministry, Mrs Christine Edmund, said that the APIS would ensure information sharing relating to border control, aviation security and counter-terrorism is available to all appropriate agencies.
“To consolidate the gains that have been made in the aviation industry and accommodate the increase in passenger volumes at KIA, it is essential that we find lasting solutions to current threats to the sector,” she continued.
“The collaborative efforts of all our stakeholders are significant in actualising Ghana’s vision of continued ICAO compliance and becoming West Africa’s aviation hub, and the Ministry of Aviation looks forward to your suggestions today and a follow-up with technical discussions to refine requirements towards the system’s implementation.”
Speaking at the forum, the acting Deputy Director for Technical Services at GCAA, Mr. Charles Kraikue, stressed that member States of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) are required to request advanced passenger information from airlines, consistent with the UN specialised aviation agency’s Standard and Recommend Practices (SARPS) and UN Security Council Resolutions 2309, 2341, 2395 and 2396.
“Our aviation security and counter-terrorism response mechanisms must, in accordance with Annex 9 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, aim to strengthen the flow of information among airport operators, and this includes the pre-authorization process of collecting and distributing information that assesses travellers’ risk level before they board an aircraft,” he underscored.
“The APIS, when operational, will improve the facilitation and speed of processing low-risk passengers, lower the cost of dealing with unwanted and inadmissible persons, and support efficient and risk-based resource allocation at KIA.”
Mr Kraikue disclosed that SITA and iTrack will be supported by primary users of the APIS, including a border control management process, to ensure that the system works effectively.
Established in 1986, the GCAA is the regulatory agency for air transport in Ghana. It provides air
navigation services (air space management) within the Accra Flight Information Region (FIR),
Licenses air transport operations, and regulates the operations of aerodromes in the country. It is
also responsible for the economic regulation, consumer protection and the facilitation of efficient
aviation operations and services.