By Ismail Akwei
The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) says it faces a possible shutdown in the provision of aviation services as a result of the government of Ghana’s takeover of their lands in the capital Accra for residential purposes.
The aviation regulation agency in a statement issued on Monday blamed political action in the last 10 years for the unavailability of land for the installation of vital safety equipment for communication, surveillance and navigational aids creating dire consequence on aviation safety.
“In 2007, the government at the time forcefully took over parts of the Wireless lands for residential purposes … Under the current government, almost the whole of the La Nkwantanan land has been taken over by ‘the powers that be’ for non-Aviation developments,” the statement said.
The authority said it has purchased a 600,000 Euro High Frequency (HF) equipment for installation on the land to enhance communication, but the equipment is locked up in their stores.
“Our inability to install the HF equipment, as well as other navigational equipment at the site will have a dire consequence on aviation safety in Accra airspace. The control of aircraft over the oceanic is seriously being hampered by this unfortunate situation,” it warned.
Speaking to local media, GCAA representative William Amoako, said the encroachment on the two pieces of land “means our communication capabilities are deteriorating every now and then and at a point we may not be able effectively communicate with the other aircraft to be able to separate them from one another.”
The GCAA appealed to the government to return the lands to them for the installation of the vital equipment else the system can shut down and create safety and security implications for the country and the aviation industry.
In 2015, a total of 23,257 aircrafts have moved in and out of Ghana with an approximately 1.7 million passengers, according to the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority.