The Banjul Accord Group Accident Investigation Bureau (BAGAIA), an aircraft accident investigative body, has called on member-states – of which Ghana is a part, to fulfil their financial obligations to enhance safety and security of airspace in the sub-region.
According to the Commissioner of BAGAIA, Engr. Charles Irikefe Erhueh, membership has failed to meet their financial obligations – and this has hindered BAGAIA projects like manpower training, equipment procurement for investigation, as well as assisting member-states in having their own investigative body.
He said BAGAIA is aware of the challenges that came with the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the aviation sector; however, there is a need for member-states to be forthcoming with their contribution to enable BAGAIA carry out its key functions and help make the sub-regional airspace – and by extension the regional air space – a safer place.
“For our reports and safety recommendations to be truly objective and devoid of external influence, we have to sustain our self-funding to create the pool we need to carry out safety-related activities.
“Accident investigation, although no one wants to be a victim, is a major component of civil aviation and helps the process of safety get better because through research, investigations and findings; we make safety recommendations which once implemented make air travel safer,” he said at a technical committee meeting in Accra, aimed at harmonising all member-states’ policies, procedures and manuals.
According to him, one of the key issues scheduled for discussion is how to sustain BAGAIA and ensure that the regional Accident Investigator is not lacking human or financial resources in carrying out its responsibility.
Ghana will meet obligations to BAGAIA
In a statement, the Deputy Minister for Transport, Fredrick Obeng Adom, said the country is committed to assist in any way possible the sustainability and continuous strengthening of BAGAIA, and remains committed to meeting obligations to BAGAIA and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
He however urged other member-states to demonstrate similar commitment. “The aviation industry is by far the quickest way to connect countries on the continent, and it is therefore important that the necessary framework is in place to ensure effective, efficient and safe operations; and I believe it is with this same spirit that BAGAIA was established to provide the necessary support to state actors,” he added.
Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation and Prevention Bureau (AIB)
Speaking about how Ghana’s aviation sector is faring, Engr. Charles Irikefe Erhueh said he has realised that the country has been determined and is putting measures in place to ensure safety, citing the establishment of AIB.
The AlB is mandated to investigate, prevent, regulate and oversee the management of aircraft accidents which occur in Ghana and the Accra Flight Information Region, in accordance with the ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS) as well as BAGAIA’s Agreements within Member-States.
The law also permits AIB Ghana to enter into agreements with relevant authorities and states in relation to matters of aircraft accident and incident investigation.
The deputy minister said government will continue providing the necessary support and policy direction to ensure that the AIB is well-capacitated, strengthened and strategically positioned to perform its functions effectively; and will also strengthen institutions to enhance the safety and security of airspace.