President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has assented to the Ghana Civil Aviation (Amendment) Bill to become Act 985 (2019).
The Amendment of the Ghana Civil Aviation Act 906 (2016) is to address the various deficiencies raised by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) with respect to the Aviation sector.
The New Act, thus, empowers GCAA to continue with the provision of air navigation services till a new entity is formed.
It also enhances the role of the Minister of Aviation in the areas of accidents and investigations.
Parliament, on 8 March 2019, passed the Bill to improve safety and strengthen security in the aviation industry.
A release issued by the Ministry of Aviation said the sector Minister, Mr Kofi Adda, who moved for the Bill to be passed, explained that the amendment was also to ensure that Ghana become compliant with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
The Member of Parliament for Navrongo Central also explained that though the sector was already doing well by global standards and was ranking very high, the amendment would help address the deficiencies identified in numerous assessments of the structures and operational systems of air navigational services as well as ensure the effective implementation of the state safety programmes and accident investigations.
This will be done by setting up an independent outfit under the minister for investigations to be conducted into accidents in the sector.
It would also enhance the powers of the Director-General of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) to enable it to carry on investigations and access vital information.
It also makes provision for the funding of the independent outfit to ensure that its personnel work effectively, while it helps to prevent the operation of flights by unqualified personnel.
“The same amendment would also see the decoupling of the GCAA, segregating the regulatory function and navigation services provision,” it explained.
“Here, too, a new outfit for air navigation services would be established under the amendment if assented into law by the president”.
Following this, it said, the Aviation ministry would move to get additional regulations passed through by the Subsidiary Legislation Committee of Parliament in time for an audit by the ICAO, later this month.
The Amendment Bill, the Minister said, had far-reaching consequences with regard to the improvement of Ghana’s rating into the Category One status to qualify under the Federal Aviation Administration for Ghanaian flights to enter into the United States of America.
“In recent times, we have seen major initiatives in such infrastructural projects and system enhancements, which combined with this legislation, all point in the direction of the nation truly becoming the aviation hub in the sub-region.”