The Chief Executive Officer of Aerojet Aviation Limited, Mazisi Parkes says the establishment of a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) might be a significant economic booster for the country.
According to him, the facility, which will be the first of its kind in West Africa when established, will create the much-needed employment opportunities for the youth in the country by providing hundreds of direct and indirect jobs.
“If an airline can cut down its operational costs, it can utilize the saved funds in growing their airline fleet for example, and once that happens it will need to employ more pilots, more flight attendants, more support staff and this means more jobs for our youth here in Ghana.
“An employed person has spending power, this means businesses in the local economy will thrive as a result of that spending. It’s a win for the coconut seller, the dressmaker and the restaurant owner,” he explained.
Ghana’s MRO which is being developed with support from the U.S, Trade and Development Agency in collaboration with Ghanaian company, Aerojet Aviation Ltd and U.S. company, Alton Aviation Consultancy would establish the country as an aviation hub in the West African Region.
Mr Parkes stated that the establishment of the MRO facility will offer Ghana a solid booster to its economy which has been sorely battered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
He explained that with the creation of the MRO facility, most airlines looking to reduce cost will finally be able to do so with an MRO facility right in their region as against flying overseas which is way more costly.
“I agree African economies have suffered, in fact, it is the more reason why we need to build capacity to meet our own needs on the continent. In light of the crisis facing many African airlines and their need to drastically reduce costs – especially post-Covid-19, a local regional facility such as this will save many airlines from collapse and in fact help create new ones with the knowledge that we are here to provide all the essential engineering services required to meet mandatory safety standards of airline operation,” he said.
Mazisi Parkes further indicated that in order to increase the employability of Ghanaians and other West Africans once the facility is established, a word-class Aviation Training Academy will be created to deliver essential aviation training to prospective workers.
“The Training Academy is an integral part of the project, so they go hand in hand. It’s vital to make the point that as an organization our aim is to bring aircraft technical training and knowledge to the doorstep of Africans on the continent who would otherwise not have the opportunity to pursue careers in aviation.
“It’s very important to us; we want to train the youth of Africa with not just skills and knowledge but significantly with a work ethic that will ensure the success of our industry,” he stated.
He expressed his company’s aspiration to be “a channel for investment in aviation infrastructure, technology and critical skills training for many decades to come” while championing the development of “young minds through training, mentorship and empowerment to challenge small thinking and encourage an ambitious can-do attitude among African youth.”
“If as a people we can be responsible, reliable and professional in the delivery of our work, we can accelerate the growth of the aviation industry and make it one of the largest contributors to African economies. Aerojet Aviation is here to do just that, let’s change the narrative and be better,” he concluded.