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09.12.2009 Business & Finance

Ghana`s Air Safety rating attracts new airlines

By Daniel Nonor (Email [email protected]) - Ghanaian Chronicle
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Ten more airlines are expected to begin operations in the country before the end of the year, made up of five foreign operators and five domestic companies, the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has hinted.

This development is propelled largely due to the country's safety airspace regulations, and the developments of civil aviation, which investors and airline operators find most attractive and conducive for business.

Airlines set to commence operations next year include the United Airlines of the USA, which intends to start operations to Ghana in May 2010. Virgin Atlantic would also commence its Heathrow-Accra route in the summer of 2010. Delta Airlines also intends to open a new route between Accra and Atlanta, USA, in the first quarter of next year, together with Atlantic Eagle, which has also expressed an interest for inter-continental operations from the country.

On the domestic front, Air Ghana, Gian Air and BF jet are undergoing certification to start executive charter operations, while Fly 540 and Star jet are also going through certification processes to commence both domestic and regional operations.

All of these developments in the civil aviation authority, according to the Director General of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, Air Cdr Kwame Mamphey, would go a long way to strengthen the economic fortunes of the country, and improve tourism revenues.

Speaking to The Chronicle shortly after a flagraising ceremony to mark the International Civil Aviation Organisation Day in Accra last Monday, Air Cdr Kwame Mamphey hinted that that beyond further decoupling of the aviation authority to fall in line with international aviation standards, his out fit had designed programmes to encourage general aviation and recreational flying in the country.

He further said that the United States Trade and Development Agency granted Ghana $295,000 for a visibility study for the construction of a new Air Traffic Control Center.

The studies would lead to the re-equipment and infrastructure upgrading of the Air Traffic Control Services Unit of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, and has been awarded to Robinson Aviation which is expected to commence work in January.

On the short term strategic plan of the Authority, he said, “what is now on our minds is the further decoupling of the Air Traffic Control Services.”

He hinted that the GCAA had presented a post-decoupling report to the government, and was expecting a white paper on it soon, to give the authority further direction.

He noted that the aviation authority was moving from ground-based navigation to satellite based systems, based on the global positioning systems.

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