General News of 2014-06-14

Airport workers plan strike to cripple operations at KIA

The indecision of President John Dramani Mahama in replacing the “over-aged” Director-General (D-G) of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Air Cdr. Kwame Mamphey (Rtd), is likely to be one of the main reasons for the impending strike by the Ghana Air Traffic Controllers.

According to a letter dated 20th May, 2014 addressed to the Chief of Staff, Mr. Proper Bani, intercepted by The Informer, calling for the immediate removal of Air Cdr. Kwame Mamphey (Rtd) from office, has in part, “following the meeting with you in which we submitted our five (5) point demands after the reduction of Air Traffic Controllers dated 4th April 2014 concerning the retirement of the Director General which we copied you.

We wish to once again call your attention to the remaining three (3) outstanding issues namely: the retirement of the Director General, the co-management of the Accra FIR and the decoupling of the two core functions of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority”.

Per the letter, the supreme concern of the Ghana Air Traffic Controllers’ Association (GHATCA) is the continuous stay in office by Air Cdr. Kwame Mamphey (Rtd), hence their decision to let fall their tools.

According to the letter signed by one Michael K. Atiemo and copied the Minister of Transport and the GCCA Board, the current Director General, Air Cdr. Kwame Mamphey (Rtd), has attained the statutory retiring age of 60years and that his continuous stay in office is not healthy for the Ghana Civil Aviation, since his tenure of office has been characterized by ill-motive decisions; including poor handling of the Accra FIR co-management, blacklisting of Ghanaian registered airlines and their subsequent collapse.

The association also cites the bad safety culture in Ghana Civil Aviation regarding certification of Aerodromes, ATS facilities, Aviation Security and Aviation Meteorology, as well as inability to attain the FAA category one status among others, as the shortcomings of their Director General; and want him replaced.

In a separate letter sent to the Honorable Minister of Transport, Madam Dzifa Attivor, equally calling for the removal of Air Cdr. (Rtd) Kwame Mamphey, the Ghana Air Traffic Controllers’ Association (GHATCA) believe that the current D-G has never been an advocate of major safety, technical, operational and management reforms prescribed by the International Civil Aviation Organization, which as a result has led to the blacklisting of two cargo airlines by the European Commission in the industry leading to their eventual collapse.

Also stated in the letter is that,“Air Commodore (Rtd) Mamphey’s regimental and arrogant approach to aviation technical and safety issues are not helping the process of re-building the civil aviation system in Ghana and the Upper airspaces in Togo and Benin.

His arrogant nature, poor human relations and disrespect to staff of GCAA constantly creates tension and enmity between GCAA management and staff”.

According to them, the delay in finding a suitable replacement for their the D-G will hamper all legitimate efforts to ensure air safety and efficiency in Ghana and the upper airspaces of Togo and Benin, as well as any meaningful reforms to move the industry forward.

The association also believes that the removal of Air Commodore (Rtd) Mamphey will bring the needed harmony among staff, and growth in the industry.

It would be recalled that a similar strike embarked on by this same group led to some disturbance in the operations with regards to domestic airline business some weeks ago.