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01.06.2006 Business & Finance

Aviation Ministry is for General Correspondence

By Chronicle

The Minister-designate for Aviation, Ms. Gloria Akuffo, said the new ministry is responsible for giving approval for the licensing of aircraft, bilateral airfare agreements and also for general correspondence touching on aviation.

She added that the industry has become very technical and one that is very intensive and requires a lot of attention. "It is becoming the trend that Aviation is being separated from the general transportation system".

She said there is a lot of cooperation on the international scene where many bilateral air service agreements are entered into a lot of the time. "So there is a lot of work to be done," she concluded.

Ms. Akuffo stated that as at now, because of the intensity of its remit, civil aviation had been separated from airport establishment and management so that a separate company would handle it. Asked of the relevance of the ministry, she said the government, led by the President, was running a race and as such, they had to strategise to ha ve a good race. And one of them is to take aviation out so that it would make the right impact because aviation is very much important in the development of our country in order to ensure effective movement of goods and services.

On the fate of the agitating workers of Ghana Airways over the airline's liquidation and what she would do when approved, the lawyer said liquidation was not easy because one had to deal with commitments on limited resources. She noted that there was the need to ensure such limited amounts were not placed in wrong hands as those workers who had not received their salaries had been asked to bring their account numbers. According to her, it was not necessary for some of them to resort to legal action because business should not be done in the court, adding that the court should be the last resort. She assured the committee she would do everything possible to attach a human face to the situation and see how best the government can meet them half way, a s liquidation really comes down to compromise. She explained that there is a limited term for the President and he wants to leave something good behind, and that could be part of the reason why this is being made possible.

"Ministers are even appointed to see to the establishment of just one railway line so that you can expedite action within a certain period".

Asked what she can do for Ghana to come back to category I in the rating of airports, the nominee minister said having lost the status in the first place and dropped to category 2, it was important that we establish an effective airline to help us regain our lost glory.

"If South African Airways can give us concessionary arrangements that can give us big money to begin to handle our finances well, that would put us in a position to get an aircraft, and once we can an aircraft certified, I think that is the main condition."