The Deputy Director-General, Technical at Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Daniel Acquah has disclosed that his outfit will complete the decoupling of Air Navigation Services from the Authority by 2022.
The move is in line with international best practices in aviation and recommendations of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to ensure that the GCAA does not act as an operator and regulator at the same time.
Thus, Mr Acquah explained, the decoupling will create an independent entity – Navigation Services, which he believes will ensure efficiency and transparency in their work output.
“At the Civil Aviation Authority we are supposed to regulate the industry as well, so having the regulator as a player does not augur well; that’s why the first decoupling was done in 2007. It used to be one entity, but we decoupled first to have the airport company; and you see how it has grown, travelling and operations have become efficient now,” he said.
According to him, it has become necessary because of the nature of the aviation industry, which is expanding at a very fast pace, hence the need to move to a new facility with more equipment in order to be very efficient in directing or managing air traffic.
Talking about the decoupling exercise’s progress, he noted that a timeline of six months has been set to complete civil work and three months to complete other things – together with training and having the staff get familiarised with the systems.
The project consultant, Akoto Bamfo, noted that the project – which began in 2017 and is currently at about 92 per cent completion – is expected to navigate air traffic and monitor the movement of flights. He said the building is equipped with machines that aid air traffic controllers to supervise the activities of pilots.
Mr Bamfo indicated that the new office will have an interconnection of simulators from the old block – explaining that the old block won’t be abandoned but will provide support in diverse ways. Talking about the project’s difference from others that are already in operation on the continent, Mr Bamfo said: “It is exceptional because the systems which have been deployed by the aviation authority, I would say, are really unique”.