Business News of 2014-08-01

Encroahers threaten Ghana Airport’s lands

Lack of title to land belonging to the Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL) is encouraging an uncontrolled encroachment on the company’s properties, the Managing Director of GACL, Mr Charles K. Asare, has stated.

According to him, the situation was seriously threatening safety and security, as well as the potential for future expansion of the airports. Delivering the company’s 2013 Report at its annual general meeting last Thursday in Accra, Mr Asare said the incident posed a great challenge to the company.

The danger

Consequently, he said the settlement within the safety and security zones had led to increase in incidence of birds’ strikes and stray dogs at the airports. “These unfortunate developments, if not checked, will pose grave consequences for flight safety and airport certification”, he stated.

Mentioning another challenge of the company, Mr Asare said the company lacked the necessary legislation to empower it as a limited liability company to enforce rules and regulations pertaining to the management of airports. He said the company also faced financial challenges which were compounded by social development responsibilities.

Success

Despite the challenges, he said the company chalked up some successes which included the completion of some major rehabilitation works, enhancement of some facilities and security systems.

Under the enhancement project, he said there were new baggage handling carousels at Terminal 2 and new check-in desks at the departure hall. He added that all old X-ray and screening equipment were being replaced to enhance security at the various airports.

Expatiating on the success, Mr Asare stated that international aircraft movement improved by 6.1 per cent from 2012 to 2013, while domestic movements experienced a faster growth of 28.9 per cent from 2012 to 2013.

International passenger traffic dropped by 3.3 per cent from 2012 to 2013, while domestic passenger traffic movement increased by 43.3 per cent. The financial performance of the company, Mr Asare explained, was improved from a loss of GH¢84.2 million in 2012 to a net profit of GH¢19.1 million in 2013.

Looking into the future, he indicated that the company would need to invest over $600 million to enhance and expand the various airports’ infrastructure and services.

The African industry

For his part, the Chairman of the company, Mr Tony Lithur, stated that the 2013 report indicated significant growth in operating income which affirmed the determination and focus of the board, management and staff of the company.

Generally, he said the performance of Africa’s aviation industry still lagged behind due to factors such as poor safety, lack of infrastructure, resources and transit facilities regulation, among others.

“Despite the growing awareness of the role that the aviation industry can play in the development of the continent, the industry is still not the top priority of African governments”, he said.

Source: graphic.com
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