Mills' Action Year: Performance & Success, Ministry Of Transport (Aviation sub-sector)
President Mills, on December 2, 2010 declared 2011 an ACTION YEAR saying it will be the year Ghanaians will witness the execution and implementation of most of the promises his government has made to Ghanaians. As a result, in spite of the general economic malaise that has paralyzed Europe and the European Union leading to the collapse of some governments and labour arrests in some countries, Ministers of State in Ghana and their Deputies have worked hard around the clock to ensure that Ghana's economy stay on an even keel. The result is the fulfillment of many of the promises the President made to Ghanaians on all fronts. Beginning today as 2011 draws to a close, the DAILY POST brings to its readers in particular and Ghanaians in general the great strides the government has made on all fronts, a proof that the year has really been an ACTION YEAR. We begin with a peep into the Transport Ministry where Collins Dauda and Dzifa Attivor, Minister and Deputy Minister respectively of Transport this year engineered and chalked several successes.
INTRODUCTION: The aviation sub-sector has undergone tremendous growth in recent times both at the international and at the domestic level. This is a reflection of the stable political, social and economic atmosphere and prudent policies of Government, especially the implementation of the liberalized skies policy.
1. INCREASE IN NUMBER OF PASSENGERS
The number of passengers continue to increase. For example, the number of international passengers for January to August, 2010 compared to the same period in 2011 has increased by 16.7%, that is, from about 900,000 to over 1,000,000.
Most significantly, in the domestic front, the increase for the same period is about 29.6% rising from just over 81,000 to about 106,000 passengers. This is as a result of the introduction of two (2) new airlines namely: Aero Survey (Starbow) and Fly540 which has led to increased business in the aviation industry, increased revenue generation, provided more options for domestic travelers, increased competition resulting in lower air fares and creation of employment.
2. CONSTRUCTION OF THREE (3) ADDITIONAL BOARDING GATES
With regard to infrastructure development, three (3) additional Boarding Gates were constructed at Kotoka International Airport (KIA) during the year to bring the total to five (5). This has helped to reduce congestion at KIA with the increasing number of passengers, especially during the peak periods.
3. REFURBISHMENT, UPGRADING AND EXPANSION OF THE DOMESTIC TERMINAL FOR INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS
Work on the refurbishment, upgrading and expansion of the Domestic Terminal for international operations have started and is currently 80% complete. This will help in improving the efficiency of handling the increasing number of international flights/passengers.
4. INSTALLATION OF SELF-CHECK-IN EQUIPMENT AND SOFTWARE
In order to reduce passenger handling times and also be in tune with industry innovations and best practice, self-check-in equipment and software have been installed at KIA to facilitate passenger processing. The system provides a state-of-the-art information display for passengers, showing arrival, departure and boarding gate information.
5. CONSTRUCTION OF NEW PARKING APRONS
The construction of new parking aprons and taxiway is underway. The new aprons will create eight (8) additional parking spaces to accommodate wide body aircraft to meet the increase in frequency of flights. The project has commenced and was 31% complete as at October, 2011.
6. PROVISION OF ULTRA-MODERN FIRE STATION
An ultra-modern Fire Station has been completed and handed over as at March, 2011. In addition, the servicing and refurbishment of fire tenders are also being undertaken and is about 95% complete. These projects are among the safety measures being adopted to forestall any unforeseen emergency and improve response time within and around the airport city.
7. COMPLETION OF WATER DEVELOPMENT AND STORAGE SYSTEMS
To ensure improvement in the water supply system, a water development and storage systems project has been completed at KIA to provide continuous water supply to all parts of the airport at all times. This will also go a long way to improve basic hygiene conditions at the airport.
8. CONSTRUCTION OF A PERISHABLE CARGO CENTRE
The construction of a perishable cargo centre is being undertaken under the Millennium Challenge Account to handle perishable cargo for export by local farmers. This will ensure that the produce are fresh when exported and also enable farmers to be paid the right value for their goods.
9. NEW LANDING AID
A new landing aid, Doppler VHF Omni-directional Radio Range, has been installed to help pilots to navigate safely and efficiently to or from KIA under all weather conditions without the need to depend on Air Traffic Controllers for information.
10. INSTALATION OF ADS-C/CPDLC COMMUNICATION SYSTEM
Another navigational equipment, an ADS-C/CPDLC Communication System has also been installed to improve communication between pilots and controllers, especially, in the oceanic/remote regions where there is no radar coverage for enhanced navigation services. These are all measures being taken to ensure aviation safety and security as prescribed by international standards.
11. IMPLEMENTATION OF IATA FLEXIBLE ROUTING (IFLEX) ROUTES PROGRAMME
The year 2011 also saw the implementation of IATA Flexible Routing (IFLEX) routes programme. This programme was introduced to reduce flight times, fuel consumption and carbon emissions to guide the Pilot in the most efficient route to use.
12. INSTALLATION OF WEATHER INFORMATION EQUIPMENT
An Automatic Weather Observation System and an Automatic Terminal Information equipment have been installed to enhance communication with aircraft. This provides weather information on continuous basis; i.e. every 30 minutes.
13. IMPROVEMENT OF TRAINING FACILITIES
In order to enhance the human resource base of the industry, training facilities within the Ghanaian aviation industry have been improved to meet international mandatory aviation training standards.
14. AVIATION TRAINING IN GHANA
The GCAA is currently in partnership with IATA to provide training in its Aviation Training Academy. This has reduced the cost of providing aviation training which would have been done abroad. The GCAA also rehabilitated its Electronic Training School with the aim of providing training locally and also for the sub-region.
15. MORE REQUESTS FOR LINCENCES TO OPERATE INTERNATIONAL & DOMESTIC FLIGHTS
Air Carrier Licenses (ACL) were issued by GCAA to three (3) other Ghanaian airlines; Africa World Airlines for scheduled passenger & cargo services, BF Jet Air Ghana Ltd. for non-scheduled executive jet charter services and Century Aviation for non-scheduled helicopters & fixed wing services.
A number of airlines are undergoing their certification process and we expect them to finish the process in 2012. These include: Eagle Atlantic, NHV Aviation Ltd., Pison Airways Ltd., Africa World Ltd.
As a response to requests by international trading partners, during the year, two (2) new international airlines were designated to fly to Ghana; Tap Air, from Portugal, has commenced operations and Royal Jordanian Airlines is also expected to commence operations before the end of the year.
16. REGAINING THE FAA CATEGORY ONE STATUS
In its quest to regain the FAA Category One status, the GCAA is currently restructuring and reviewing systems and procedures in this regard and a number of technical corrective measures are being put in place. This will enable a Ghanaian carrier to fly direct to the US.
The above will also enhance Ghana's airspace as a safe aviation hub and attract other airlines to Ghana with the related benefits of employment generation among others.
17. CREATION OF JOBS
The Ministry is also mindful of creating employment opportunities for our people and as a result, the Ghana Airports Company Ltd. created 321 new jobs and the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority also employed 37 new staff into various departments of the Authority.
Due to the outstanding performance and achievements of Ghana's aviation sub-sector, KIA was awarded the coveted “Best African Airport Marketing of the year 2011” at the Routes Africa Forum in Bamako, Mali.
KIA was again adjudged “Regional Winner” at the World's Route Marketing awards in Berlin, Germany in October, 2011.
KIA also won the “Best Security and Safety conscious Airport in West Africa for the year 2011 conferred by Security Watch Africa in Banjul, Gambia in October, 2011.
It is also no mean achievement that the Managing Director of the Ghana Airports Company Ltd. won the prestigious “CIMG Marketing Woman of the year 2011”.
In recognition of the strides in the aviation sub-sector, Imani Ghana, in its second edition of “Top 5 Most Inspirational Leaders in Ghana” named the Managing Director of the Ghana Airports Company Ltd. and the Director-General of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority as the winners for 2011.
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