GCAA marks International Civil Aviation Day in Accra with special event

Juliet Okae, Deputy Director General-GCAA
  • as it recovers from biting COVID-19 pandemic

The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has held a special event in commemoration of International Civil Aviation Day on the forecourt of the Ghana Civil Aviation Training Academy in Accra.

A specialised agency of the United Nations, established on December 7, 1944, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) coordinates, promotes and ensures the safe, efficient and effective conduct of civil air transportation.

In 1996, the UN General Assembly officially recognised December 7 as ICAO Day in the UN systemm and the theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Advancing Innovation for Global Aviation Development’.

Juliet Okae, the Deputy Director-General of the GCAA, in her address said the annual celebration will help generate and reinforce worldwide awareness of civil aviation’s importance to the sustainable development of states – and the unique role ICAO plays in helping nations to cooperate and realise a global air transport network that connects cultures and communities across all world regions.

“In fact, the theme for this year’s ICAO Day could not be more appropriate, given that the operations of most Civil Aviation Authorities (CAAs), airlines, airports and air navigation service providers (ANSPs) have not yet fully recovered from the devastating impact of COVID-19,” she stated.

Like several key players in the aviation sector, the GCAA has been badly affected by the crisis, she added, leading to the authority’s revenue plummeting: “And our staff had to take pay-cuts as part of a raft of measures we implemented to mitigate the pandemic’s impact”.

Since becoming a contracting ICAO state on May 9, 1957, Ghana has – working through GCAA – complied with the Standards and Recommended Practices of the UN Specialised aviation agency, as industry trends indicate that ICAO-compliance leads to enhanced air connectivity, which is a prerequisite for states’ economic development.

Ms. Okae said the GCAA is thus mindful of the numerous benefits that air transport offers, and the sector’s many other contributions, “for which it is now appropriately regarded as a veritable economic lifeline for an increasing number of people in Ghana”.

GCAA marks International Civil Aviation Day in Accra with special event

The recognition yielded excellent outcomes, as Ghana obtained an Effective Implementation or EI rate of 89.89%, the highest by an African country, after ICAO concluded its Coordinated Validation Mission (ICVM) in April 2019. ICAO also conferred two prestigious awards – one in safety compliance and the other in Aviation Security compliance – on Ghana at its 40th Triennial Assembly in Montréal, Canada, in the same year.

Ms. Okae assured that GCAA, as the regulatory agency for air transport in Ghana, will remain committed to its core mandate of licencing air transport operations, maintaining oversight of aviation safety and security, as well as providing air navigation services within the Accra Flight Information Region (FIR) which comprises the airspace of Ghana and a large area over the Gulf of Guinea in the Atlantic Ocean.

The Deputy Director-General Technical, Daniel Aquah, added that as the UN and world nations adopted Agenda 2030 and embarked on a new era in global sustainable development, the importance of aviation as an engine of global connectivity has never been more relevant to the Chicago Convention’s objective of looking to international flight as a fundamental enabler of global peace and prosperity.

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