General News Sat, 9 May 2009

GCAA's to be restored to former rating-Minister

Accra, May 9, GNA - Mr. Mike Hammah, Minister of Transport, says he would ensure that the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), was restored to its former rating, where it held the Federal Aviation Authority category 1 recognition in aviation. "I have been working with management since I assumed office, to ensure that the GCAA is restored to its former rating,' the Minister said. Mr. Hammah said this at a mini-durbar with staff of the GCAA, which formed part of a familiarization tour of the GCAA and the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL). The Transport Minister noted that the government considered the GCAA and the GACL very important partners in its developmental plans for the country.

He said for the government to be able to move the country to a middle income economy by the year 2020, its Gross Domestic Product had to be raised from the present average of between five and six percent to between eight and ten percent.

He said for that to be possible, there was the need to involve as many Ghanaians as possible in the development of the country, where the provision of goods and services were concerned. He added that, as part of measures to facilitate that, the country needed an excellent transportation system. "This is where the aviation sector needs to be brought in, since it has a big role to play in this vein, as a key provider of transport.'

The Minister said as part of measures to create a better aviation industry in the country, the GCAA would be de-coupled into two separate units, namely safety and regulatory units, to enhance efficiency. He said the government would also ensure that airport lands were not invaded by encroachers.

He advised the managements of both the GCAA and the GACL to be truthful and transparent; adding that lack of transparency only bred mistrust and agitation, adding that he will do his best to ensure that the GCAA and GACL perform effectively. Mr Simon Allotey, Acting Director Genneral of the GCAA, said the GCAA had an enviable safety record.

He said with the help and support of government, he had no doubt that this record would not only be sustained but also improved upon. At the GACL, Mr Hammah assured the staff that they would soon have a new board of Directors. "May be tomorrow. May be tomorrow next, very soon, I can assure you," the Minister said. He said the GACL had immense avenues for making money and urged the company to be more innovative and dynamic in creating more avenues for revenue generation.

The Minister observed that one essential ingredient for the running of any company was staff relations and advised staff to do their best to respect each other; irrespective of the position one might hold on the job. "Everyone plays a very important role in any company from the cleaner right up to the top. It is therefore important that no one is made to feel insignificant," he added. Mrs Esi Annor Sackey, Managing Director of the GACL, said the company's key objective was to ensure customer satisfaction. She said the company had been blessed with peaceful labour relations, adding that, it was the company's desire and belief that the year would see the GACL attaining a lot more of its set targets. Mr. Hammah also toured the terminal building of the GCAA, including the VVIP lounge, new fire station, the Circuit television room, the arrivals as well as the departure lounge and the airport operations room.

Mr. Hammah who later visited the offices of the Ghana International Airline, said government would enact policies which, when implemented, would facilitate the progress of the airline. Mr Hammah was accompanied by Mrs. Dzifa Attivor, the deputy Minister and some senior officials of the Ministry. 09 05 09

Source: GNA