The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) is recovering from the financial meltdown that hit it due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in the closure on the country’s air borders, the newly appointed Director General of the GCAA Charles Kraikue has said.
According to him, the aviation sector is bouncing back quickly after the opening of the air borders on September 1 as an appreciable number of airlines have begun operations. Data from the Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL) reveal that 16 out of the over 30 airlines that operated in Ghana before the closure have begun operations.
Speaking after his official swearing into office and also onto the board of the GCAA at the Ministry of Aviation earlier this week, Mr. Kraikue said: “my first and immediate task as a member of the board is to work with the board to navigate our way out of this unimaginable crisis that has befallen us, which is the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although we have been hit very hard both operationally and financially, I am very glad to say that we are seeing the beginning of the end of this crisis and we are truly on our way to full recovery on the opening of our airport by the President,” he said.
The GCAA and the GACL are part of seven State Owned Enterprises currently benefiting from a GH¢312 million fund set up by the Consolidated Bank Ghana (CBG) to stabilize operations, especially pay workers’ remuneration as the Coronavirus has impacted their finances adversely.
The credit facility is a government-guaranteed concessionary credit with a moratorium and would be available to ensure prompt salary payment by the SoEs for the next six months.
Delivering a speech at the swearing in ceremony, the Minister of Aviation, Joseph Kofi Adda said that with the experience of Mr. Kraikue, he is confident that the GCAA will move to another level from where the past Director General, Simon Alottey, left off.
Under the leadership of Mr. Alottey, the country’s aviation industry recorded phenomenal growth, with a thriving domestic sector and over 35 international airlines serving Ghana. The country also attained an Effective Implementation (EI) score of 89.89%, the highest by an African country at the time, after ICAO concluded its safety audit in April.
Mr. Kraikue said: “The magnitude of our recent achievement in both safety and security cannot be over emphasised and we want to take this moment to assure you (the minister) that we (the management) will work together with the board to improve further on this achievement to not only become the best in Africa which we are very proud to be but also one of the best in the world.”
The board chairman of the GCAA, Air Commodore Rexford G.M Acquah (Rtd) also encouraged Mr. Kraikue to be diligent with his duties and perform to exceed expectations. He reminded him of the oath of secrecy that he took, advising him to always respect it as it is the fulcrum for the development of the board’s operations which impacts the progress of the sector.