Africa: Ghana targets America Aviation Category 1 status as it negotiates National Carrier
Cecilia Abena Dapaah, outgoing Aviation Minister has disclosed government will “by the end of the year move towards the establishment of a home-based carrier.’’
This follows Cabinet’s approval for the Ministry to negotiate with Africa World Airlines, Air Mauritius and Abu Dhabi Aviation while continuing discussions with Ethiopian Airlines, amongst other investors.
Government, in October last year granted a policy approval for the Ministry of Aviation to commence the necessary processes for the establishment of a home-based carrier with private sector participation to enhance connectivity.
Due to the unfortunate Starbow Airline accident last year, Africa World Airlines is currently the only airline operating the domestic routes.
New airline operators including DAC Aviation, Baby Jet Airlines and Unity Air will soon commence domestic operations.
The Minister during a media engagement in Accra on Monday, August 20, revealed that Ghana is yet to obtain the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Category 1 status.
Until the restoration of FAA status to the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) registered airlines from Ghana cannot fly to the United States of America.
She noted construction of the Terminal 3 (T3) has been completed and handed over to the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL).
‘’The project will, on October 2, be commissioned; currently a number of simulation exercises are on-going to test the equipment and facilities at the terminal to go live on September 1.’’
The Minister said the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) Phase Three Development project is currently on-going and is about 98.7 percent complete.
The project when completed, will address the problem of inadequate parking space at the airside during peak periods.
Abena Dapaah announced funding has also been secured for construction of the Tamale Airport Phase Two. This will make the Tamale Airport an alternate to KIA in addition to the Kumasi Airport, which will serve the Sahelien region.
Additionally, Cabinet and Parliamentary approval have been obtained whilst a Commercial Agreement is yet to be signed.
In order for Ghana to be competitive within the sub-region, the out-going Minister said, the processes for the development of an aviation master-plan will soon be initiated.
The master-plan seeks to address; the reduction of price in aviation fuel, removal of import duties on spare parts by domestic airline operators, encroachment of aviation lands, safety and infrastructural funding for aviation related projects.