Barbados to study Ghana’s aviation sector

Ghana’s attainment of a provisional Effective Implementation (EI) rate of 89.89 percent, being Africa’s highest score in Aviation Safety Oversight by ICAO, is endearing its aviation operations to many countries across the world; one of such is Barbados.

The Caribbean country has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Ghana to aid a proper structuring of their aviation industry. The country wants to migrate its current Civil Aviation Department to an independent Civil Aviation Authority which will be modeled around that of Ghana.

A delegation led by the Barbados Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Kerrie Symmonds called on the Aviation Minister, Joseph Kofi Adda and some top officials in Ghana’s aviation sector last Friday, to acquire some information on how to make Barbados’ aviation sector robust.

“Ghana won an award for outstanding levels of security and safety oversight processes and for those of us who are looking to find a partner from whom we can learn, and certainly Barbados is in the position; and so far when civil aviation is concern, Ghana is one of the ideal choices,” Mr. Symmonds told the media at an event to announce the MoU in Accra.

He believes the collaboration will go a long way to help Barbados set up technical and legal frameworks to become an aviation giant in the Caribbean region.

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Aviation Minister, Joseph Kofi Adda said Ghana is ready to sign bilateral air service agreement to boost international commercial air transport service between the two countries and this would help ease the aviation operations.

“We have a bit of capacity to share within our region and we are happy we are not doing badly on that. The President has set for us to make this a hub for the West African Region, those are the matching orders we have and then we will be working on what needs to be done to get them going. Two agencies, the Ghana Airport Company and the Civil Aviation Authority are also supporting us very well,” Mr. Adda said.

The Director of the Barbados Civil Aviation Department, Tracy Fordde-Bailey was elated by the reception and said Barbados is looking at drafting a National Aviation Policy to help propel the growth of the sector. The country also wants to boost its revenue through aviation with its rich tourism history.

Mrs. Fordde-Bailey said Barbados is ready to discuss some financial structures it is contemplating with Ghana, and find the best ways to recoup investments government will channel into the sector.

“Barbados at the moment does not collect overflight fees and of course this one of the most dominant sources of income and funding for our Civil Aviation Authority. Therefore, we have to be quite creative in determining our financial structure because with the establishment of the Civil Aviation Authority there are a number of areas to be reviewed … so I will like to at some point meet with you in the near future to discuss the funding structure, the financial plan, the business plan that was created for the West African region,” Mrs. Fordde-Bailey said.

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