PHI Century Ltd., a company that provides aviation transportation services in Ghana and West Africa, has completed the registration of its Sikorsky S-92A fleet of helicopters with the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA). This marks the end of a painstaking assessment process where the operational and maintenance history, as well as airworthiness of the aircraft are reviewed. The entry into the Ghana Civil Aircraft Register concludes the process of the aircraft registration from the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Civil Aircraft Registry.
PHI Century Ltd. was founded as a joint venture between a Ghanaian company, Century Aviation Company Limited and USA-based PHI Aviation, a global leader in helicopter transportation, to support the fast-growing Oil and Gas sector in Ghana and West Africa.
Capt. Kofi Hesse, Accountable Manager for PHI Century Ltd., was excited to receive the final Aircraft Registration Certificate and Initial Certificate of Airworthiness on behalf of the company. “Even though this is a required regulatory process, it was further delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so we are very pleased to have finally registered all the fleet of aircraft in the Ghana Civil Aircraft Register,” he explained. “Our initial wet lease arrangement allowed us to operate in Ghana under FAA regulations, but our long-term plan had always been to ‘domesticate’ the operation, and there is so much more we are planning to do going forward,” added Mr. Hesse.
The S-92A helicopter is the most advanced Sikorsky Aircraft currently in production, and has a capacity of 19 passengers. It is currently the largest commercial helicopter aircraft operating in the country. The aircraft’s adherence to FAA FAR Part 29 [Airworthiness Standards: Transport Category Rotorcraft] has led the FAA Certification Board to call the S-92A the “safest helicopter in the world.” The S-92A is also certified in the most stringent safety requirements of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
Once the combined team from both the FAA and GCAA were satisfied with the documentation and physical inspection of the aircraft, the airworthiness and registration certificates were issued. Over 20 other key documents were also reviewed in the process and the final aircraft registration was entered into the Ghana Civil Aircraft Register. “PHI Century Ltd. has been operating in Ghana under the surveillance and oversight of the GCAA for some 10 years now, and we have no issues with them, but we still have to go through the comprehensive regulatory process because these regulations are fundamental to the aviation safety and security operations,” explained Mr. Benjamin Owusu, Manager, Quality Assurance (SRD) of the GCAA.
Mr. Owusu oversaw PHI Century’s certification when the company began operating 10 years ago, and he is also the Principal Maintenance Inspector for PHI Century, who ensured the accomplishment of the recent aircraft registration and initial issuance of certificate of airworthiness process.
PHI Century currently operates a fleet of Sikorsky S-92A helicopters from its operational base in Takoradi, where over 55 percent of the technical staff – including Quality Managers, Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineers and Pilots – are Ghanaians. Over the past decade, PHI Century Ltd. has provided services for Talisman B.V. (of Sierra Leone), Tullow Oil, Newmont Ghana Ltd. and Kosmos Energy Ltd.