Africa: Stakeholders in aviation meet in Accra, Ghana to harmonise regulations
Stakeholders in the air transport industry in Africa have gathered in Accra to strategise on how to liberalise and harmonise operations in the aviation industry in the continent.
The meeting is being hosted by the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), in collaboration with the Ghana Airports Company Limited and the Ministry of Aviation.
It is a follow-up on the declaration of sustainable development of Air Transport in Africa adopted in Antananarivo, Madagascar on March 27, 2015, which is dubbed, Antananarivo Declaration.
Participants include director generals of civil aviation authorities of participating countries, policy-makers, air transport regulators, representatives of airlines and other services providers.
The Minsiter of Aviation, Ms Cecilia Abena Dapaah, said Ghana was putting in place the necessary strategies to have a national airline to boost the aviation industry and improve tourism in the country.
Ghana, she said, had recognised the role of aviation in economic development and had, therefore, embarked on a mission to prioritise and also ensure that Accra became an aviation hub in the sub-region.
Additionally, she said the country was ready to support other sister countries to ensure that the dream of a vibrant and solid aviation industry was developed in the continent.
Ms Dapaah said it had become necessary to speed up the full implementation of the Yamoussoukro Declaration with regard to the liberalisation of access to air transport markets in Africa which was made in November 1999.
The Yamoussoukro declaration seeks to establish a single African air transport market which is considered crucial to the achievement of the long-term vision of the African Union (AU) known as the AU Agenda 2063.
The minister further indicated that the time had come for Africa to leverage its earnings with the rest of the globe in the air transport business.
The President of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Council, Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, called on African governments to improve aviation infrastructure in their countries.
He said ICAO had projected a growth in air traffic by the year 2020.
In her remark, the Secretary General of the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC), Ms Iyobo Sosina, said African aviation industry could fare much better under liberalised African skies as it would create synergies and optimise the usage of African airports.
She observed that Africa economies could not exist as commercial entities without embracing open skies.
The Director General of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, Mr Simon Allotey, said the liberalisation of market access and air carrier ownership and control would address some of the challenges of the aviation industry.
“It will improve air connectivity within Africa and we will also be looking at how we can improve connectivity with some Caribbean states during this meeting because we do not have a lot of flights from the continent to the Caribbean,” he noted.