Editorial: GCAA bounces back to life with high expectations

Photo: Director-General of GCAA, Charles Kraikue

The newly appointed Director-General of the GCAA Charles Kraikue is confident that the aviation sector is bouncing back quickly after the opening of the air borders on September 1 as an appreciable number of airlines have begun operations.

Data from the Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL) reveal that 16 out of the over 30 airlines that operated in Ghana before the closure has begun operations.

Mr. Kraikue observed that although the aviation sector has been hit very hard, both operationally and financially, he told the GCAA board during his swearing-in ceremony this week that his first and immediate task is to navigate the sector out of this unimaginable crisis.

The GCAA and the GACL are part of seven State-Owned Enterprises currently benefiting from a GH¢312 million fund set up by the Consolidated Bank Ghana (CBG) to stabilize operations, especially pay workers’ remuneration as the Coronavirus has impacted their finances adversely.

Under the previous leadership of Mr. Allotey, the country’s aviation industry recorded phenomenal growth, with a thriving domestic sector and over 35 international airlines serving Ghana. The country also attained an Effective Implementation (EI) score of 89.89%, the highest by an African country at the time, after ICAO concluded its safety audit in April.

Mr. Kraikue really faces an uphill task following months of inactivity at KIA but he assures that he will work assiduously with the GCAA board to make KIA become the best in Africa to which we wish him the best of luck.

Making Ghana a regional and international aviation hub was one of President Akufo- Addo’s objectives upon taking office in 2017.

Kotoka International Airport was ranked number one in 2019 for airports receiving between 2 million and 5 million passengers by the Airports Council International, winning the Airport Service Quality Award.

2019 brought large numbers of African-Americans, including many celebrities, as well as others from the diaspora to celebrate the Year of Return. Sadly, that could not be replicated this year because of the outbreak of the pandemic that has seen no activity for almost six months.

The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCCA) revealed that it has lost nearly 95 percent of its revenue income due to the novel Coronavirus inflicted ban on foreign travel. According to IATA, revenues are expected to fall some 50% to US$419 billion from US$838 billion in 2019.

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