Ghana’s Kotoka Airport faces shutdown

Terminal 3 of the Kotoka airport
Terminal 3 of the Kotoka airport

The Union and Professional Associations within the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) have threatened to withdraw some services which are critical to aviation safety from Monday, March 17, 2020.

“The Union and Professional Associations within the GCAA wish to notify airlines and passengers travelling by air and the public of possible disruption to flight operations within the Accra Flight Information Region (FIR).”

The notification was in statement signed by William Amoako, Michel Kaamekpor, Patrick Amoah Sarfo, Local Divisional Union, Edem Sabah, Ghana Air Traffic Controllers Association, Mr F.O. Opoku, Ghana Air Traffic Safety Electronics Association, Senam Atadja, Aviation Safety Inspectors Association of Ghana, Gideon A. Adjei, Ghana Aeronautical Information Services Association, Veronica Ama Badu, Senior Staff Association and Nicholas Nyeduala, Ghana Civil Aviation Electrical Staff Association and copied to the Ghana News Agency.

It said: “On February 20, 2020, we held a News conference at which we called for the immediate removal of the Board Chairman of GCAA, Air Cdre. Rexford G.M. Acquah (rtd), whose incessant interference, among others, in the day-to-day operations of the Authority, including; the issuance of threats to management and staff over internal administrative matters such as the hiring and promotion of staff, had reached alarming proportions.

“We also demanded a cessation of all activities on the two lands belonging to GCAA, a 60-acre land located in La Wireless, and over 600-acre land in Nkwantanan, both in Accra.”

The statement said following the conference, the Minister for Aviation, Mr Joseph Kofi Adda and the Director-General of the State interests and Governance Authority (SIGA), Mr. Asamoah Boateng, held a meeting with the Union, Professional Associations and staff of GCAA on Tuesday, March 3, 2020.

“Sadly, a pledge by the Aviation Minister and the Director-General of SIGA to resolve the issues has not materialized as the Board Chairman remains at post, and construction works, which incidentally severed one of our fibre optic cables and adversely impacted our communication System for hours on the day we met the two leaders, are in full force,” the statement said.

It said: “Additionally, we do not have access to critical aviation equipment on the land, as most entrances have been either dug or blocked, a development that directly places the crucially important services we provide under serious threat.”

The statement said: “As a result of these issues, this course of action has become necessary in order to safeguard the safety of flights within the Accra FIR. The taking over of lands earmarked for aviation purposes for private use is not only unacceptable, but also dangerous for the aviation industry and the country as a whole.

“This means that we may not get access to deployed technological infrastructure, on which we depend and this potentially renders us incapable of providing the services that the State has mandated us to offer.”

The statement said safety was the bedrock of aviation and that “we will not compromise on any situation that negatively impacts the industry. We deeply regret the inconveniences that might arise from the withdrawal of these vital services, but in the interest of safety. We must protect current installations and make provisions for upcoming ones.

Source: GNA

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