23.08.2004 General News

We are not responsible for the mess - Civil Aviation to Ghanair

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Accra, Aug. 23, GNA - The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) says it cannot be held responsible for the mess in which Ghana Airways put itself for flouting a US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) ban not to fly into US Airspace.

GCAA explained that it informed the Captain of the Ghana Airways Aircraft that flew into US Airspace of the decision of the FAA banning the airline from July 23, 2004. However, the Captain of the Aircraft decided to go against it.

Mr Edward F. Akohene, Director, Safety Regulations, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on Sunday, explained that Ghana Airways and its inspectors were informed of the ban on the aircraft from US Airspace.

Mr Akohene said the FAA just before the ban complained that it was not satisfied with the Aircraft's safety since it had only done a Minor C Check. The FAA, he said, was demanding a Full C Check on the aircraft, even though Ghana Airways had done 17 A Checks and Four B Checks. He said perhaps Ghana Airways might have considered that these were enough since most aircraft in the US and Europe did not even subject themselves to this number of checks.

Mr Akohene said GCAA was considering asking Ghana Airways to explain why enforcement action should not be taken against them for flouting its regulations.

"We are leaving the matter for our Legal Department to handle." On the period for which the FAA would restore the licence of Ghana Airways, Mr Akohene said, "the FAA will come down and conduct their audit of GCAA. It will then know the exact decision to take".

He said Ghanair had been banned and not grounded, so there was no way the Aircraft could be stopped from flying.

"There are rules and regulations that must be followed in a given situation," he said.

The Aircraft was leased from AMD of the USA in October 2003.

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