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12.06.2009 General News

Minister tasks planners to improve image of Africa’s airline industry

By gna
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Accra, June 12, GNA - Mrs. Dzifa Attivor, Deputy Minister of Transport, on Thursday tasked the Banjul Accord Group (BAG) to work to increase Africa's share of the air transport market and also improve the continent's image in the industry.

The Banjul Accord Group consists of national civil aviation authorities of Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone coming together to promote safety in aviation within the sub-region.

"It is sad to note that Africa has the least share of the global air transport market and because of the high accident rate in a few countries, we have been tagged collectively as having the highest rate of accidents in the world," Mrs Attivor noted.

She made these remarks when she opened the Second Meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and Directors General of the BAG in Accra.

Mrs Attivor described as worrying the fact that only two African countries currently had the U.S Federal Aviation Authority Category 1 Safety Assessment Status.

Ghana lost its category 1 safety status four years ago.

Mrs Attivor said there was abundant expertise in the African Aviation industry which was not being properly harnessed and urged the meeting to come out with a safety oversight organisation an affiliated accident investigation agency.

She said the efficiency and safety of International Civil Aviation depended on the expertise of personnel, and commended the African Indian Ocean Region (AFI) Comprehensive Implementation Programme's Initiatives to develop technical skills for the local industry.

Mr Simon Allotey, Acting Director General of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, urged participants to work collectively to change the image that air transport within the AFI region was not safe.

"Although we have very good carriers on the continent, many people would travel by the European carriers instead of an African carrier. We need to work

GNA

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