The staff of the Civil Aviation Authority has expressed concern about what they say is the deteriorating state of aviation safety in the country.
A statement issued on June, 20 and copied myjoyonline.com blames the encroachment on aviation lands as the main cause of the problem.
According to the statement, the Authority acquired two parcels of land at the Adenta (La Nkwantanan) and Labadi (La Wireless) for aviation development and expansion, part of which it said was taken over by the President Kufuor government in 2007 for residential purposes.
The statement further said the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) has taken over “almost the whole of the La Nkwantanan land, between Madina and Adanta.”
Speaking to Joynews on behalf of the staff of the Authority, William Amoako explained: “for some time there has been a lot of controversy over the land litigation.”
He disclosed the Authority took “those lands for Aviation purposes but we have seen a lot of construction going on and our investigation reveals they have been sold for commercial purposes.”
They are concerned about the lack of land to install communication equipment.
He said the Authority needs a communication and surveillance equipment to help communicate effectively with flights.
The encroachment on those lands he disclosed “means our communication capabilities are deteriorating every now and then and at a point we may not be able effectively communicate with the other aircraft to be able to separate them from one another.”
They appealed to the government to ensure as a matter of urgency that those lands are returned to the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority.
Read full statement:
AIRCRAFT SAFETY UNDER THREAT
The staff of Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) wishes to bring to the notice of the general public the likelihood of our inability to provide Air Traffic Services in the Accra Flight Information Region (FIR – Accra Airspace) due to unavailability of land for the installation of vital safety equipment for Communication, Surveillance, and other Navigational Aids.
Two parcels of land were acquired for Aviation development and expansion at Adenta (La Nkwantanan) and Labadi (La Wireless) for use as receiving and transmitting stations respectively, and for future aviation development and expansion.
In 2007, the government at the time forcefully took over part of the Wireless lands for residential purposes leaving only a fraction for aviation development. Today the AU village is now a private gated housing community.
Under the current government, almost the whole of the La Nkwantanan land, between Madina and Adanta, has been taken over by "the powers that be" for non-Aviation developments. These lands are currently under the control of private developers and investors, putting commercial interest over Aviation safety and development.
These actions of politicians in the last 10 years have been detrimental to the Aviation industry and have the tendency to erode all the gains achieved by the country in Aviation.
For months, HF equipment purchased by GCAA worth over 600,000 Euros for installation at La Nkwantanan to enhance communication are still in GCAA's stores. Our engineers have been denied access to the site to make a preliminary preparation ahead of the arrival of their foreign counterparts due in the country on the I ph July, 20 I 6. Our inability to install the HF equipment, as well as other navigational equipment at the site will have a dire consequence on aviation safety in Accra airspace. The control of aircraft over the oceanic is seriously being hampered by this unfortunate situation.
We are aware that, the management of GCAA, as well as the ministry of Transport, has made several appeals, and has justified the need to; at least, give about 250 acres of the land back to GCAA, but all to no avail.
We want to reiterate that if the said land is not released for the installation of this vital equipment, the system can shut down and we may not be able to provide Air Traffic Services over the ocean and other portions of the airspace. This will have safety and security implications for the country and the industry in general.
It is against the backdrop of such improper encroachment and/or virtual annexing and grabbing of government acquired lands intended for aviation use that the Ghana Air Traffic Controllers Association (GHATCA), Ghana Air Traffic Safety Electronics Association (GhATSEA), the Ghana Aeronautical Information Services Association (GHAISA), Aviation Safety Inspectors Association of stakeholders of Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, express our displeasure and indignation with the current development on the La-Nkwantang land.
In the light of the above, we are appealing to the government and all other parties to get the La Nkwantanan land back to GCAA as a matter of urgency.